Greek “Style” Feta
To make real feta cheese I would need to head off to Greece, employ their traditional methods of cheese making and use the local sheep’s milk. This is then, I suppose my faux feta, or as I’d rather say: my Greek style Feta.
Feta is a milk white brine cured cheese with a soft, friable texture. Excellent for crumbling into salads – feta & watermelon salad is delightful, or diced and mixed with olive oil to be served with a dish of olives as a light snack.
Recipe makes approximately 600g.
For the brine solution
- 125-150g salt (smoked salt makes a nice change)
- approx 750ml water
For the feta
- 4 litres milk
- 60ml buttermilk (or 40ml cheese culture)
- 4 drops rennet
- 1 quantity of brine solution
To make the brine soluti0n
Dissolve the salt in warm water, then cool in your freezer. Place cheese in brine solution as needed.
To make the feta
Warm the milk to 29.5ºC then remove from the heat and add the buttermilk, whisking thoroughly to distribute. Leave to ripen for 2 hours.
Add the rennet and stir for 3-4 minutes. Leave to set for around 3 hours, or until you can achieve a clean break in the curd.
Make 1.5cm cuts into the curd from top to bottom, and left to right. Then again at a 45 degree angle. The goal is to end up with roughly even sized pieces, around the size of a kidney bean. Leave for 10 minutes to allow the curds to firm up.
Gently stir the curds and cut any pieces that are larger than bean-sized. Allow to sit for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Line a colander with your muslin or cheesecloth and pour in the curd, draining off the whey. Tie the corners of the cloth together and allow to drain for about 5 hours.
Remove the cheese from the cloth and pack it into one or more rectangular containers, so that it is about 2.5cm thick. Chill in the fridge for about 90 minutes. Remove and cut into approx. 2.5cm cubes.
To age the cheese, place the cubes in a cold brine solution for 5-30 days and store in the fridge. It should get crumblier the longer it is aged.
After aging, remove and pat dry and store in an air tight container, or you can leave it in the brine solution and it should keep for longer.
Tip: After you’ve finished using the brine, you can freeze it for reuse, although you’ll probably need to top it up with additional salt before using it again.
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