Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feta Cheese

Yesterday I made Feta Cheese. It is really easy and fairly quick to make. I use 2 gallons of milk when I make it.  I like to keep it on hand.  It is a great cheese to add to other things or put on top of certain foods.  We use it the most on salads.  

Here is the milk in the pan.  I have already added the culture and the rennet.  I cut the curds with my 16" wire whisk.  I am lifting the curds on my cheese ladle so they would show in the picture.  Feta is a raw milk cheese as I never heat the milk above 86°.  

Once you hold them at the temperature for the correct amount of time, you drain the curds into little plastic basket molds.  With 2 gallons of milk it takes 2 of these little baskets.  You can save the whey and give to animals or use in lacto fermentation.  
I use the pan that I made the cheese in, to drain it as well.  I place a large mouth canning ring in the bottom and sit one basket on it and then the other basket goes on top of the first one.  Every 15 minutes you turn each cheese over in its basket and then you put the basket that was on the bottom on the top.  
Here is one of the cheeses after I turned it over in the basket.
After turning it several times (I do it usually about 5 times)you then leave it for 8 to 12 hours in the pan at room temperature. You may have to dump some of the whey if it goes over the top of the canning ring.  When you take the cheeses out of the basket molds they need to go into a brine.  Here is a picture of one of the finished cheeses.
Here you can see both of them floating in the brine. The little pieces of cheese that you see floating are from the last batch. You can re-use your brine several times.
It is very easy to make and people love to take a chunk home with them.  :)  If you would like the exact recipe you will find it here.


Sharon said...

I love any kind of cheese but unfortunately I had to give up dairy products. Found out my body reacts in a bad way when I indulge in dairy. *sigh* Once in a while I really get a craving and give in to it...then I suffer. I will make sure my daughter sees this though because she loves making homemade anything. :)

Sharri said...

That looks great!

Farmgirl Heidi said...

That's amazing and not as scary as I thought it to be. Wow, after viewing your post, I may even try it. Thanks.