Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Bit Like Feta

Feta style cheese is so easy to make, and only needs 4 litres of milk instead of the normal 8 that I use for a harder type cheese.  With minimal stirring after cutting the curd, and a pressing of only 4 hours, what is not to like about this cheese.  Here is a batch that I made last week.


I don't use a normal press, with this two litre milk bottle filled with water serving as the weight.  It doesn't need much pressure to form the block.  The curds starts off in both moulds, then at the two hour mark, they have shrunk enough for me to squish them together in a single mould forming one block.  If you look closely you can see the join line.


Once pressed, I make up a strong brine by adding half a cup of salt to two litres of the left over whey, and a quarter of a cup of white vinegar.  This was the first time that I had used the whey as the base for the brine, and found that it worked very well and it improved the final flavour of the cheese.


I let is soak in the brine for two days before cutting it in half, and storing it in two smaller containers that fit in the fridge.  I use the same brine to keep the divided cheese moist.


The finished product is a firm, crumbly, yet creamy feta that can be stored for at least 6 months in this manner.  It is great crumbled on top of pizza or cubed into a Greek salad with lots of home preserved black olives!

It is just so simple to make and took me 3 hours from start to press, then about 15 minutes with the brine and putting it in the fridge to mature.  If you want the full recipe, check out this post titled "Feta - Video tutorial".  Enjoy.

10 comments:

  1. We make a lot of feta with our goats milk. Everyone loves it!

    We store our differently though - immersed in olive oil with smoked peppercorns. Yum! :)

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  2. Mmmmm, love Feta! Would this work as well if the recipe were halved, do you think? I'm the only one here who likes Feta, and I don't think I could eat that much. Although you reckon it lasts for six months, and I could always give some away.....

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    1. Hi Melinda, I can't see why it would not work if you halved the recipe. I have doubled them and they work out fine.

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    2. Thanks! I'll give it a a try over Easter. :-)

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  3. Thanks for this Gavin - another excellent post. I was wondering if storing the feta in brine made from the whey is a common thing to do or whether it is your own idea. As you originally added bacterial starter to the milk, presumably the bacteria will be in the whey too. Will those bacteria continue making the brine more acidic as time progresses even in the salty fridge conditions? Or will the whey-brine go 'off' over time as milk does? I know time will tell, but is there a history to this?
    David

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  4. Sounds like somwthing to try over the Easter break Gav. Haven't tried cheese making before but the simplcity of this recipe gives me the courage to give it ago. Cheers Anita

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  5. I am about to mkae my Feta again tomorrow, have never stored in brine, normally just cover with salt and slam it in the fridge, but the lasting 6 months sounds great - so tomorrow I am brineing it up! I probably should also press mine a little more, I only use the weight of the two halves to squash out the whey and after a few hours of change them over it makes a delicious soft Feta.

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  6. Hi Gavin,
    What a fantastic recipe! I followed it to a tee and it is wonderful and creamy. I used homebrand milk from supermarket and was very impressed with the taste. It was the first cheese i have every made so was very scared but when it came time to cut the curd and it had set perfectly i had a smile from ear to ear. I will be marinading it over the weekend.
    Thanks for sharing all your knowledge.
    Emily

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    1. Hi Emily, Sounds like you made a great first cheese!

      Well done

      Gav x

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