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. 
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