|Ingredients for 1,2 kg feta cheese:|
- 8 litres of whole milk, non-homogenized Required tools:
- 5 pinches of starter culture or 1 dl soured milk
- 1 pinch of lipase enzyme
- 2 pinches of nut flavouring culture (Optional)
- 2 ml rennet
- 350 g salt to be dissolved in 2½ litres of boiled water
- 2 garlic cloves
- 12 bay leaves
- 1 liter grapeseed oil
- Pot with lidHelpfull tools (non-essential):
- Long knife
- Two small glasses
- Plastic or glas containers for storage
- Cheese trays
- Cheese mat
- Cheese moulds
- Kitchen scalesPreparations:
- Dish brush
- Large spoon
- Cheese cutter
- Thermometer clip holder
We recommend you leave the milk un-opened on the kitchen counter for approximately 10 hours prior to beginning the process. This allows the milk to slowly gain room temperature, which in turn enhances greater yields and gives softness to the cheese.
Everything begins with hygiene
Hygiene is crucial when making cheese: Fill a pot with water, cover with a lid and bring it to boil. Now scold each of your tools suited for scolding by carefully pouring boiling water over them; cheese trays, moulds, mats, colander, etc. Use a dish brush for scrubbing if possible.Steps:
- Pour the milk in to a pot and slowly heat it to 32°C.
- Dissolve the following ingredients in a small amount of cold water; starter culture, lipase and nutflavouring culture (optional). Pour the mixture into the pot - stir for ½ minute.
- Cover with a lid and wrap a towel around the pot to keep it warm - leave it for 30 minutes.
- Mix rennet with a small amount of cold water, add it to the milk and stir gently for about ½ minute.
- Cover with a lid and wrap the pot in a towel to keep it warm - leave it for (at least) 30 minutes.
- The milk has now coagulated and curd has formed.
Perform the "clean cut test": With a knife, cut into the surface of the curd. If it leaves a clean cut with sharp edges - it is ready and you can move on to the next step. If it does not leave a clean cut - allow it to coagulate for a few more minutes before you cut the curd.
- Use a long knife or cheese cutter to cut the curd into 2-3 cm cubes - and let it rest for 10 minues.
- Now stir the cubes gently every 15 minutes for an hour.
Cover the pot with the lid and a towel whenever you are not stirring.
- Place cheese moulds in a cheese tray with a cheese mat in the bottom. Fill curd into the moulds and cover them with another cheese mat. Put a cheese tray on top, facing upside down. Get a firm grip on the handles, tilt the trays to let whey run off and turn them to the flip side. Repeat this often to begin with as whey drains of quickly in the beginning.
- Now prepare brine: Boil the water, dissolve the salt and let it cool off until next day.
- After 24 hours of draining (pH should be around 4.6) soak them in brine. Use a plate to weigh them down under the brine surface.
- Soak the feta cheese in brine for 2-5 hours - as you prefer.
- Lift the cheese out of the brine, cut it into smaller pieces and place it in suitable food safe containers. If you wish - add bay leaves, garlic or herbs - then cover the cheese in oil. If you prefer to use brine rather than oil, see instructions and comments on how to make the right brine. Feta cheese kept in brine is not as shelve stable as feta cheese stored in oil - but it will stay fresh for about a month, if not been eaten before then...
- Cover the containers with lids and label them if you wish.
- Leave the containers at room temperature for 24 hours before you refrigerate them.