Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Making Feta Cheese


Feta cheese is one of the easiest cheeses to make. I use a recipe that a friend gave me years ago. It is good! I use to make it often when I was milking my goats and had so much milk to deal with. Recently I was in the mood to make some feta and for the first time made it with store bought milk. Yum is all I can say!


I used whole milk, which is a must if you try this. You will also need to purchase cheese cultures (or you can use cultured buttermilk, but make sure it has live cultures in it). I prefer cheese cultures because they are easy to use, store in the fridge for a long time, and are ready whenever I'm in the mood to make cheese. You will also need liquid rennet for this recipe and cheese salt. Below I'll give you some links on where to buy these products.

I'll also share the link to my recipe below..


The process..

Heat a gallon of milk up to 88 degrees (86 for goats milk). Remove from heat and add the cheese cultures and the rennet that has been diluted with water.



Let this sit for 2 hours. I try to keep it as warm as possible. I will fill a larger pot with 88 degree water and set my pot of cheese inside this to help keep it warm. It is not necessary that stays exactly at 88, but if it cools down too much it might interfere with the thickening process. You can also cover it with a towel during this time.

When the 2 hours is up gently stir it to break up the curds. They will separate from the whey. Let is sit for another 30 minutes. Now it's time to drain and strain your cheese..

I use a large bowl, a large strainer basket and some type of cloth. The simplest cloth to use (in my opinion :) is to take an old sheet, cut up a piece large enough to fit in your basket. Wash it with bleach to sanitize it. Pour the pot of curds and whey into the basket. 

And tie it up, and hang it to drain. I used an old shoelace (any type of heavy duty string will work). I also wash my shoelace with the sheet in bleach to sanitize it as well. I tie it up on the handle of my cupboard, put the bowl below it and let it drain for at least 8 hours. It will reduce in size quite a bit...



When it's done draining you can open it up and see your cheese...



Cut the cheese up into chunks...



Finally... it's time to give this feta some flavor. For this batch I used Italian spices, salt and garlic... Put a layer of cheese chunks into the bottom of a quart jar. Liberally sprinkle with cheese salt (don't use iodized salt, it will discolor your cheese, kosher salt will work as well), sprinkle in the spices and a few slices of garlic. Repeat this process until you have used up your cheese. Cover the whole thing with olive oil.



Make sure all the cheese is below the olive oil. Now let it sit on the counter for 3 days. You do not need to refrigerate this. The olive oil seals the cheese from oxygen and so you don't need to worry about it going bad.



When you are done you will have a lot of whey leftover! But don't toss it. I'll be posting next about all the things you can do with the leftover whey.


 
Here is my Super Easy Feta Cheese recipe.
You will find step by step instructions with pictures on this page.

 
Links for cheese making ingredients
{affiliate links}

Cheese Making Cultures and Rennet



Cheese Salt





Happy Cheese Making!!



 

No comments:

Post a Comment

All messages are moderated. After approval your message will be posted. Thank you for your comments!! Crystal :)