I’ve been making cheese on and off for quite a few years. I usually make a farm house cheddar but I found a very easy very yummy feta recipe. I make this cheese once a week, sometimes two. It is great in salads, on pizzas and is extremely great on toasted sandwiches. So here it is…
- 4 Litres of full cream milk – I use somewhere between 4 – 8 litres with 1 teaspoon of rennet diluted in 1/2 cup water for the larger amount.
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Calcium Chloride diluted in 1/4 cup of water.
The addition of Calcium Chloride generally improves the rennet coagulation properties of your milk and this is particularly true when using pasteurised milk from the grocery store.
- 1 dose MO 030 Mesophilic culture – I use a butter knife and put a few grains on the end.
- 1/4 rennet tablet or 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/2 cup of water.
- 2 tablespoons of salt.
- Mix your Calcium Chloride solution into your 4 litres of milk.
- Slowly heat milk, using indirect heat, to 30° C – I bring my milk in straight from the cow and it is already at 30 degrees and saves heating it.
|Two stainless steel ‘stock pots’ with water in the large pot and milk in the small pot makes an effective ‘water jacket’, heating your milk indirectly.|
- Add starter culture and stir well. Leave to incubate for 1 hour, maintaining the temperature at 30° C. – place an old bath towel over the pots to keep the warmth in.
- Add rennet solution and stir in gently using an up and down motion for one minute to ensure that the rennet is evenly distributed. Allow to rest undisturbed for one hour, maintaining the temperature at 30° C.
- Check for a ‘clean break’. If the curd is not firm enough leave for another 5 minutes and check again.
Patience is the key here, wait for a clean break, and do not despair if this takes a while. If you do not get a clean break after several hours, do not throw throw your mixture out, but keep it warm overnight perhaps, and then drain it through a tight weave cheesecloth. Your end result might be a soft cheese, instead of feta, but it still is a cheese.
- Once the curd is firm enough and gives a clean break, cut the curd into 1.5 centimetre cubes. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Gently stir the curds for 20 minutes, being careful not to break them down. – I like our Feta to be quite firm so I stir quite vigorously.
- Gently pour the curds into a colander, lined with your cloth, to drain off the whey. Tie the corners of the cloth together to form a bag and hang to drain for 5 hours. The curds will knit together into a solid mass. – I don’t have anywhere to hang our cheese so I just leave to drain on the sink and if it is really moist I squeeze it out.
- Untie the bag and cut the curds into 2.5 centimetre cubes.
PS. As I have said before I am not really a measuring type of cook and I am probably the same with my cheese. I found that it still works well. We eat this cheese the next day and it lasts for about a week.
PPS. Sometimes this cheese sits on the bench all day, depending on what I have to do. I have found that it is alright to do so but ultimately it is best to have it draining by the late afternoon.
PPPS. I get my starter culture and calcium chloride from Green Living Australia and my liquid rennet from Cheeselinks (you can get rennet from Green Living but I like to buy a bigger amount.
Let me know how you go if you try it or let me know if you have a cheese recipe I could try.
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