1 gallon of Garelick milk
I prefer 1% or 2%. One gallon of milk makes about 2 lb of tvorog, so if you start with 1% milk + buttermilk (see below) you end up with 5% fat tvorog. If you start with whole milk, your tvorog will end up more like skim cheese (too fatty for my taste). If I use fat-free milk, the tvorog gets some unpleasant texture, so if you want to cut fats, use half a gallon of 1% and half a gallon of fat free milks.
Any other PASTEURIZED milk that comes in gallons works, but Garelik seems to work best so far.
ULTRAPASTEURIZED milk - that's all organic half-gallon cardboard boxes - doesn't work: it will not ferment properly and may get rancid instead. Those lactobacteria tend to have their own taste preferences!
One bottle (900 ml) of buttermilk
Use Kate's buttermilk! Every Shaws/Starmarket and more fancy places in New England would carry it.
Garelik buttermilk is not as good, and for some reason it doesn't work right every time. If no other choice, use that one.
A pot with a lid that would hold 1.2 gallons of liquid
Mine looks like that and I picked it at Home Goods for $4.99:
a sieve with handles, approx fitting the pot (not the smallest one!)
It should be made of mesh - the ones that look like a plate of metal with holes are not good.
This one DOESN'T work:
1. Pour your milk and buttermilk into the pot, mix together, close the lid and place somewhere on a countertop in the kitchen.
2. Leave it alone for at least 48 hours. DO NOT MIX.
3. 48+ hours later check it out with a small spoon - the stuff should look somewhat like yogurt:
4. Take the lid off. Place the pot without the lid into the oven and cook for 1.5 hours at 330 F. Once done, don't take it out until it's completely room temperature - usually I put it in when leaving for work in the morning, setup the oven timer for 1.5 hrs, and by the time I'm home it's done and chilled down... or I bake it in the evening and leave it in for the night.
5. Take the pot out. You will see some yellow liquid on top and some clotted TVOROG in the bottom, about 1/3 of the volume.
6. Carefully pour out most of the liquid into the sink:
There are ways to utilize the liquid in cooking (marinate meat or chicken, or add to pancake dough) but I don't bother.
7. Place the sieve into the sink and drop the TVOROG into the sieve with the rest of the liquid to drain. Place the sieve into the pot, cover with the same lid and leave it for another 12-ish hours to drain completely.
8. If it still looks too wet for your taste, give it another 12 hrs to drain in the fridge. I like it well-drained, so I sometimes have to wait.
9. Transfer the drained TVOROG into some kind of container and put it in the fridge. It's good for at least a week or more, I never saw it going bad within that time (and later it's eaten).
10. You can put smaller portions of it into ziplocks (~150-200g) and freeze them. To thaw, just transfer it to the fridge for a day. I prefer fresh but thawed it's still quite good.
11. Keep in mind that the whole process of making tvorog, while not time-consuming per se, takes about 3 days. So plan ahead! Most of time I have a new pot of TVOROG at some stage of preparation - it's either fermenting, or cooking, or draining, while I am consuming my previous lot.
Approximate nutrition values:
protein 17.2 g
carbs 1.8 g
fat 5 g