Yesterday this salty, tangy plate of Feta cheese was 4 litres (4 quarts) of milk on my kitchen bench. Out of all the cheeses I make at home, this one is probably the one I do most often.
Homemade Feta cheese is fast and versatile, and you get a good yield. This batch weighed in at 500 grams (1 lb) of cheese, which will last for several weeks in the fridge.
- Wooden Feta Press
- Cotton Cheesecloth
- Stainless steel pan
- Slotted spoon
- Long carving knife
- Weights (gym weights or tins)
- Sterilise all equipment with boiling water
- Heat the milk to 34°C (90°F)
- Stir in the Feta Starter Culture and leave for 1 hour with the lid on
- Dissolve the rennet in cold unchlorinated water, stir in and leave for a further hour with the lid on.
- Cut the curd with a carving knife into 2.5cm (1 inch) squares and leave for 10 minutes.
- Sit the press on a draining tray and line it with cheesecloth.
- Ladle the curds into the press, cover with cheesecloth and put the lid on
- Add up to 5kg of weights to the press and leave for at least 4 hours.
- Slice it into fat fingers, sprinkle liberally with sea salt, and pack them in a container with a lid on to cure for a further 6-8 hours.
- Drain the liquid off and put the cheese in the fridge - eat within two weeks
- The more weights you use, the firmer the Feta.
- Don't leave it unsalted at room temperature for more than 6 hours in the press, or it can pick up unwanted bacteria.
- If the cheese has holes in it like Swiss cheese throw it out - it has picked up rogue bacteria along the way.
- Don't' worry about the amount of salt - most of it comes out with the whey as one of its purposes is to draw moisture from the cheese.
- Don't store it in oil or brine. Oil is not a preservative, and brine just makes it go too salty or slimy.
Here is a short video to see each step of the recipe.