Homemade Feta Cheese
1 gallon milk (cow, goat, or sheep)
1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet
1/4 cup cool water (55- 60 degrees F)
1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride
Warm the milk to 88 degrees F over a low flame in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in buttermilk. Cover and turn off heat. Let stand 1 hour.
Dissolve the rennet in the cool water and add mixture to the milk, along with the calcium chloride, stirring for 30 seconds. Mixture should still be at 88 degrees F. Cover again and let stand another hour to coagulate.
Using a long, thin knife, cut the curds into 1" cubes. Gently stir them a few times. The temp should still be at 88 degrees F.
Carefully pour the curds into a colander, lined with butter muslin (re-useable cheesecloth). Tie together the ends of the muslin to make a bag and hang in a cool room or refrigerator to drain for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove the cheese from the muslin ...slice the cheese ball in half. Lay the halves in a dish that can be covered. Sprinkle all the surfaces with coarse salt, cover, and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, your cheese halves will be sitting in quite a bit of liquid. Drain off this liquid and salt the surface one more time. Let sit at room temperature for another 2 hours.
Now, you've got Feta! At this point, use it right away or cover it in salted water and refrigerate it for up to 4 weeks.
Feta cheese is easy to make in your own home. Try it, you'll be surprised by how creamy it is...but it still has that signature salty tang of the Feta you usually buy from the market!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 4:41pm