Friday, 7 June 2013

Home Made Feta Cheese

Home Made Feta Cheese

I have made ricotta and mozzarella cheeses for many years and have wanted to further explore the wonderful world of cheesemaking.  To this end I ventured to a nearby brewing supplies shop to purchase lipase.
All fired up to make Feta Cheese, but lo and behold, the lipase had disappeared.  
It was hiding in the pantry somewhere ... 

Serving Suggestion

Not deterred I looked online and found this great recipe from http://fromthebartolinikitchens.com
which uses fresh yoghurt for a culture substitute for the lipase.

Home Made Feta Cheese Recipe

4 litres milk, cow's, goat's or sheep's milk can be used
(Remember, the fresher and better quality the milk used, the better your cheese will be)
(you can use pastuerised, but not ultra pastuerised or homogenised.)
2 tablespoons live culture, plain yoghurt mixed with 2 tablespoons milk from above
1/2 rennet tablet mixed with 150ml distilled water 
1 teaspoon salt

For brining solution;  5 1/2 tablespoons salt for every 600ml fluid whey


Method

Warm the milk in a large pot with a lid until it reaches 30C or 86F stirring it occasionally to prevent the bottom from sticking.


Remove from heat, add yoghurt/milk mixture, stir well, cover with lid and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.






Place in a spot where it will not be disturbed then pour in the dissolved rennet, stir well and cover the pot, leave overnight, do not lift lid or move pan.



A clean break is achieved

The next morning, the cheese should be set into one large block of curd with a little whey.
Test for a clean break  ->
this means the curd is firmly set from top to bottom.  Your finger should come up cleanly with the curd.
If not, cover and leave for another 2 hours, check again.
 If a clean break is still not achieved cover and leave for 2 more hours.
If you still get a bad break, discard and start a fresh batch.



Using a long knife, cut parallel lines through the entire thickness of the curd slicing it into vertical lines
Then turn the pot and cut horizontal parallel lines throughout the entire thickness of the curd.  Then turn your knife and slice on an angle.
Allow the curds to sit for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow more whey to come out.  You will notice the curds shrink slightly in size.





Now to strain the cheese.
Line a colander with muslin or cheesecloth.  Gently pour in the curds, catching the whey in a container.
You will need the whey for
storing the cheese.
 When most of the whey has strained, collect the four corners of muslin and tie to form a knot to allow you to suspend the muslin and
allow it to strain for 2 - 4 hours.



The whey collecting underneath





If you live in a warm place you could allow it to strain in the fridge.
After it is well drained mix in 1 teaspoon sea salt.

Now line a mold with muslin and place the cheese inside, folding over the muslin.

Place a heavy weight on top and leave overnight, placing in the fridge if you live in a warm climate.








Then next day unmold and admire your feta cheese. Make a brine solution by adding 5 1/2 tablespoons of sea salt for ever 600 ml of whey and mix, dissolving the salt as much as possible.              


This serving is sprinkled with freshly chopped marjoram, finely sliced garlic, cracked black pepper, sliced red chilli and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

The texture is firm and the flavour is delicious.

If you enjoyed this post, kindly tell me.  
Buon appetito!  Cheers Merryn :D