Thanks to our loyal customer, Cheese Making Hobbyist, Dave McGrath for sending us his recipe for making Feta. Great job Dave, keep up the awesome work!
- The most important step in making feta, or any cheese, is to make sure EVERYTHING you are using is sterilize. EVERYTHING. Use soapy water, boiling water, or a sterilized wipe. If you don't there is a good chance you'll end up with spoiled feta in the end. Very depressing.
- Heat up a gallon of milk to about 88 degrees slowly (Cheese Making Thermometer). I bought a handy remote digital thermometer that I can monitor from my tv. You don't have to but it keeps me from having to check on the temperature every couple minutes.
- When it gets to temperature add the starter culture. I've used Cheese Culture MA 4001 ideal for feta so far and the results are incredible. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and leave it for about 45 minutes.
- About 25 minutes into waiting combine about 1/4 tsp of lipase powder for cheese making into a quarter cup of bottled water. I made the mistake of using tap water and the chlorine killed my feta. After 20 minutes add 3/4 tsp of calcium chloride and 1/4 tsp. of liquid rennet.
- Slowly reheat the milk while adding the mixture. Stir for about 60 seconds. When the milk gets to about 96 degrees turn off the heat and cover the pot again.
- When the milk gives a "break break" (it usually seems to be between 1 - 2 hours), cut the curd in a criss cross pattern. I don't know why but this seems to be my favorite part. Slowly reheat up to 96 degrees again. When it reaches temperature cover the pot and GENTLY stir the curds every 15 minutes for about an hour.
- After an hour place a damp cheese cloth in a colander and drain the curds for about 30 minutes. If you want you can save about a quarter of the whey for later use (I place it in a sterilized Tupperware and put it off to the side). When it seems to have drained enough tie the cheese cloth to something and let it drain for another 12 - 24 hours. I usually tie it to a wooden spoon and let it drain into a large pot (see picture).
- When the curd is solid and not dripping anymore gently take the curd out of the cheesecloth. You should have one solid chunk of curd (see picture). Cut it in half, the cut each half into a inch square cubes and place them into a large enough container where they aren't on top of each other (make sure this container is sterilized!!!).
- Sprinkle 2-3 tbs of cheese making salt onto the cubes, then gently mix. Place a top on the container and put it somewhere safe for about 3 days.
- Every day gently pour off the whey that collects on the bottom. After 3 days add more salt, then did it again on the 4th and 5th day.
- If you want you can take the feta and place it in fridge. You are all done now and the feta will get stronger as it ages. I actually like it fresher but my girlfriend loves the strong feta that comes after about 2 weeks in the fridge.
- What I like to do after 5 days is add about 1/4 of salt to the saved brine and place the aged feta in there. Leave it in the fridge and it will last a long time and it will be creamier and better tasting than ANY feta you've ever in your life.
I always have a fresh Tupperware full of feta in my fridge for my salads, omelets , shrimp, meatloaf, chicken, basically anything I want. Am I crazy or is anyone out there as into this hobby as I am?
Email your cheese making story to email@example.com