Homemade Feta Cheese
Date: Wed Feb 26 2020 17:47:13 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time) ; Tags: Feta Cheese
Making Feta Cheese is relatively simple - The process takes a couple days, but none of the steps are terribly hard.
Start with milk in a stainless steel cooking pot. Heat it to about 90 degrees F, a.k.a. 32C.
Mix together "cheese culture" and "lipase enzyme" into water, to ensure it's well mixed, and then pour into the milk, stirring the milk. amazon.com
Let this "ferment" for an hour or so, covering it so stuff doesn't get in. It's important to use a good quality thermometer and ensure the temperature doesn't go too high or too low.
Next, mix in Rennet to start the coagulation process. amazon.com
After an hour you'll have a curds and whey solution. The rest of the process involves separating the whey from the curds. The curds is what makes the cheese, and the whey has a wide variety of uses.
With a curd knife or long spatula, slice through the curds to make lots of cubes. It's not necessary to make precise cubes. Instead what you're doing is increasing surface area so the whey can more easily train out of the curds.
The next stage is to pour the curds into something that lets the whey drain off. One option is a colander lined with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Another option is some kind of cheese-making mold. These have a solid shape with holes allowing the whey to drain away. amazon.com
A large amount of whey will drain away. Some suggest just letting the whey go down the drain. However whey is very healthy, can be used in making other foods, can be fed to animals, can be drunk for yourself, and so on. Why get rid of the whey?
Eventually you'll have a solid thing that's a recognizable cheese. The next step is to make a brine -- simply water with salt at a fairly high percentage -- and let the cheese soak in the brine for awhile. This is a preservative, and also helps give the cheese the taste normally associated with feta cheese.
It's not necessary to cut the cheese into small cubes like this.
To see something about the traditional methods in Romania: Making Romanian brânza the traditional ways (face brânza)
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