Sunday, May 1, 2011

Homemade Feta

This is the first time I tried an aged cheese.   I'm trying to do the easy ones first so I feel comfortable with the process.   By the end of the year, we're going to try to have some sort of cheese cave rigged up somewhere and do some long term aged cheeses.    That's the plan, anyway.

Feta is an aged cheese.    It ages for 5-7 days.    Yes, you read that right.  

It's a good thing it doesn't age any longer, because K2 flatly refused to wait that long.   She is by far my most vocal supporter in the whole cheese manufacturing process.     She loves it.   All of it. 

I got the recipe from Ricki Carroll's  Home Cheese Making book.    I love this book!    If you have been thinking about making cheese, get this book.    Even if you're not ready to actually buy the milk and the cultures, get this book.     Having it in your house will accelerate your readiness.   Really.   I'm not kidding.   

We used store bought whole milk for this cheese, used mesophilic culture and rennet that I got with the cheese kit.  I followed the directions in the book and voila!   - feta cheese!

The basic process:
  • Warm the milk
  • Add the culture
  • Let sit for 1 hour.
  • Add the rennet
  • Let sit for another hour.
  • Cut the curd and let the curds drain in the pot for 10 minutes
  • Stir for 20 minutes.
  • Drain curds in colander/cheesecloth for 6 hours or longer.    The longer, the drier.
  • Cut into cubes
  • Salt generously.
  • Store in covered bowl in the fridge.   
  • Salt again in a couple of days.   Shake the salt around so it gets to all the cheese. 
1 gallon of milk yields a pound of cheese.  

The real shocker:  it actually tastes like store bought 'official' feta. 

4 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! That looks wonderful! I would have never thought it would be so (seemingly) simple. I love feta on salads, but it would take me a very long time to eat that much.

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  2. I think I've checked that book out of the library before and thought about getting it, and now I most likely will with your recommendation. I think you should get a commission on each book you sell for this author...LOL! We definitely need to do this since Feta is a staple of our summertime diet. :)

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  3. I was especially excited because we used regular milk from the store. Nothing fancy. Next time I make it, I'm going to try to drain it longer so it's even drier.

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  4. Okay, this is freaking cool. I don't think I will ever do (Okay maybe when I have more confidence in this department) but holy, cow, I had no idea you could create this. You amaze me!

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