Polish white cheese - twarog / twarozek...

I just love twarozek! But unfortunately you can't buy it here in Ireland (well, you can in Polish shops, but I had a bad experience with it once and don't want ever again...). Luckily, it's not complicated at all to make cottage cheese. I remember when my Granny used to make it from fresh cow's milk. I was a little skeptical, if this will work with the pasteurized milk - but it did. And what a result! Twarozek is perfect both with sweet or savory accompaniments. My two favourite ways to eat it are: either simply spread on a piece of bread with sliced cucumber, spring onions and sprinkled with some salt, or spread over the bread and topped with honey or jam. Hope you'll try and make it - it IS very easy and definitely beats the store bought version!

"Quark is a type of fresh cheese, also known as tvorog (from the Russian творог), topfen (from the Austrian name), biezpiens (from Latvian), and varškė (from Lithuanian). It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained. Dictionaries usually translate it as curd cheese or cottage cheese, although most commercial varieties of cottage cheese are made with rennet, whereas traditional quark is not. It is soft, white and unaged, similar to some types of fromage frais. It is distinct from ricotta because ricotta (Italian: recooked) is made from scalded whey. Quark usually has much lower fat content (about the same as yogurt) than cream cheeses and has no salt added." - by Wikipedia.org

How to make it...
- 6 l of full fat milk (can't be skimmed as you won't get a lot of cheese)
- 0,5 l of buttermilk
From that amount you'll get about 1,3 kg ready to be eaten twarog.

- BIG pot
- muslin cloth
- sieve

It's ideal to start making your cheese in the evening. Pour all the milk into a big pot and add the buttermilk, cover with a lid. Leave it on the stove or somewhere in the kitchen over night. 
Next day morning put it on the hob and start warming up, but very little and very slowly. You can't boil it, bring it the temp up to 45 C max 50 C and keep it that way for about 15 minutes. By that time you'll see how cheese is starting to form. Stir from time to time to spread the heat evenly.

Place your muslin cloth on the sieve and start pouring your milk/buttermilk mixture through it. You have to be patient with it! Once you've poured everything leave it to drain - if you want very firm, drier cheese you can squeeze your cheese a little bit - we just leave it like that for a good hour or two. Your cheese will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes 16/6/12
I tried and actually boiled the milk first, before adding the buttermilk (as beforehand I used the milk as it came, straight from the plastic bottle) and it worked brilliant, as it gave more creamy cheese.
Also if you're having problems with getting the cheese out of the milk - try adding more buttermilk or help using some lemon juice. It did happen to me few times that buttermilk alone didn't want to produce any cheese curds at all! Had to "save the day" with adding lemon juice to that heated milk+buttermilk. immediate result! :)


  1. Would this be like the cheese I bought from a dairy farmer? He'd made it from the last evenings milk.

  2. Lois - yes, I'd say it will be that kind of cheese. The only way to be sure is to try and make it ;)
    You can easily half the recipe if you don't wan't so much cheese in the first go.
    Pozdrawiam! Anula.

  3. I.am.making.this! Dziekujem dziekujem dziekujem for sharing this!

  4. Finally!! thank you for this recipe! I am so tired of trying to explain this type of cheese to cheese shops and being told to use ricotta! Absolutely not the same thing! It was easy to get this cheese in Montreal, but now that I live in Vancouver, it's impossible! First thing tomorrow morning, I'm off to buy the milk and buttermilk! (I tried to follow the recipe from my Mama's Pani Dislowa cookbook, but it's too old fashioned and I don't have the patience to translate the dekagrams and szklanki!!) Dzienkuje bardzo!!

    1. Prosze bardzo! Yes, ricotta has slightly different taste. It's hard to explain to someone a taste of Polish twarog if they never had it before - slightly acidic but still a little bit sweet, crumbly texture but smooth when you 'smudge' it :)
      Enjoy the cheese and please let me know how it went!
      Pozdrawiam, Anula.

    2. It turned out great... although I did have some trouble with the milk forming the curds the first time - I think it might be due to the fat content of our whole milk here in Canada - so I added more buttermilk and that solved the problem! Anyway... I made a second batch using a slightly different method, both versions were delicious (all traces of the first batch are eaten!!). Thank you again! You can have a gander at my blog for some photos! http://walksoftlyandcarryabigspurtle.blogspot.ca/2012/05/you-say-ricotta-and-i-say-twarozek.html

  5. I made twarog today 27.11.2015. used the same ingredients plus 2T vinegar.
    brought milk to almost a boil (180F) added the buttermilk and vinegar. Turned off the heat. let is set for 15 min and the cheese was on top

    1. That's great, thank you for sharing :)
      Adding that extra vinegar guaranteed that the cheese will form. I found out some time ago that if the cheese isn't forming, adding more lemon juice or vinegar (simply more "acid") will start and speed up the process.
      Pozdrawiam, Anula.


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Pozdrawiam, Anula.