Feta Cheese is an easy cheese to make yourself and has a wonderful flavor achieved by a salt brine.
Course cultured, Side Dish
Keyword feta cheese, feta cheese recipe, how to make feta cheese
Prep Time 1hour30minutes
Cook Time 10minutes
Total Time 1hour40minutes
Author Cultured Palate
1gallonmilk - I use raw
¼teaspoonlipase powder - dilute in ¼ c water
1packet mesophilic direct-set culture
½teaspoonliquid rennet - dilute in ¼ c water
2tablespoonsalt or ⅓ cup salt if using the brine method
Mix the milk and diluted lipase powder. Heat the milk to 86 F.
Remove the milk from heat and add the starter and stir to combine. Cover and allow to stand for 1 hour. Wrap a towel around the pot to help maintain the temperature.
Add the diluted rennet stirring gently to mix thoroughly. Cover and allow to stand for 1 hour. Keep the towel around the pot to maintain the temperature at 86 F.
Cut the curd into ½ inch cubes and allow to set for 15 minutes.
Gently stir the curd for 15 minutes - this helps expel the whey from the curds. As you stir you will notice the curd getting smaller.
Pour the curds in Pour the curds into a cheesecloth lined colander.
Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and tie in a knot to hang the bag to drain. Using a long wooden spoon, I tie the cheesecloth around the spoon and suspend it over a 5 gallon pot to drain. This way I can cover and move the pot to a convenient location in the kitchen. Drain for 4 hours - I have gone as long as 6 hours because I got busy and forgot!
Untie the cheesecloth and place the curd on a cutting board. At this point it will be a ball of curds.
Cut the curds in 1 inch slabs.
Cut the slabs in 1 inch cubes.
To finish the cheese and age it there are 2 options:#1 - Place curds in a bowl and sprinkle 2 tablespoon of salt over them, stir gently, cover and refrigerate for 4 -5 days to age.#2 - Make a salt brine using ⅓ cup salt in ½ gallon of water. Place feta cheese cubes in the brine and place in the refrigerator, covered for 4 - 5 days. The feta cheese can be kept in the refrigerator in the brine for several weeks and will be stronger in flavor using this method.
Which method to choose for finishing the feta?
I have done both methods to finish the cheese and really can't say which I prefer - they are both very good!
The feta cheese soaked in a salt brine is wetter whereas the salted feta cheese is dryer - I guess it depends upon my final plan for the feta cheese - if I want it spreadable or plan to keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, I prefer the brine method.