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    Wiki: Feta Cheese Making Recipe

    This Wiki Article is a generic recipe for making Feta (also spelt φέτα or Fetta). Feta is a rennet coagulated, brine ripened, white coloured cheese originating from the Aegean Sea. It can be consumed fresh (unaged) or after ripening and storing in brine.

    Equipment

    Houston Texas Phoenicia Grocery Store - Fresh Fetas - CheeseForum.org

    Houston Texas Phoenicia Grocery Store - Fresh Fetas - CheeseForum.org

    • Vat: In which to make the curds, more information at Wiki: Vats.
    • Vat Heating Device: Common example is stove.
    • Stirring Tool: To stir additives into milk and to stir cut curds.
    • Thermometer: To measure temperature of milk, more information at Wiki: Thermometers.
    • Weigh Scales: To weigh small amounts of starter culture, lipase etc if making small non-commercial batch, more information at Wiki: Weigh Scales.
    • Curd Cutter: Common examples are long thin bread cutting knife, long thin cake icing spatula.
    • Ladle: To remove whey from vat and to move cut curds and remaining whey into curd draining system.
    • Curd Draining System, examples are:

    Ingredients

    Vancouver Commercial Drive Mediteranean Store, Barrel Of Feta, Uncovered - CheeseForum.org

    Vancouver Commercial Drive Mediteranean Store, Barrel Of Feta, Uncovered - CheeseForum.org

    • Milk
      • Amount: Cheese maker/vat size dependent. To determine batch size you want to make, see Wiki: Milk Yields.
      • Type: Commonly cow or goat or sheep. If using cow or sheep, will nee Lipase to provide Feta’s piquant taste. More information at Wiki: Milk & Cream Types.
      • Treatment: Raw or pasteurized, if using raw milk then age a minimim 60 days, Ultra Pasteurized or UHT are not good for rennet coagulated cheese making. More information at Wiki: Milk Processing.
      • Milkfat: Typically whole to milk that has had it’s cream skimmed off, milkfat such as cream is not typically added. Higher milkfat % will result in creamier cheese, lower will result in dryer cheese.
      • More information at Wiki: Milk Products, Wiki: Milk Standardization.
    • Calcium Chloride – Optional
      • Common if using pasteurized milk to aid rennet coagulation, amount as per manufacturer’s directions or your experience.
      • More information at Wiki: Calcium Chloride.
    • Mesophilic Starter Culture
      • Ripened Buttermilk: Use ~30 ml/1 ounce/1 ice cube of liquid mesophilic starter per quart/liter of milk. If using ice cubes, they will melt in milk. More information at Wiki: Store Bought Cultured Buttermilk Mesophilic Starter Culture Making Recipe.
      • Manufactured Freeze Dried DVI: Amount as per manufacture’s/package directions or your experience, (normally ~0.2 grams for 3 liters milk, ~0.25 grams for 1 US gallon).
      • Type:
    • Lipase – Optional
      • Required if using cow’s or sheep’s milk, type of your choice. More information at Wiki: Lipase.
      • Amount: Normally ~0.2 grams for 3 liter milk/~0.3 grams for 1 US gallon of milk. For stronger/weaker piquant taste use more/less.
    • Rennet
    • Salt for dry salting or brining.

    Directions

    2 US Gallons, 7 Liters Whole Cow Milk Feta, Draining Whey - CheeseForum.org

    2 US Gallons, 7 Liters Whole Cow Milk Feta, Draining Whey - CheeseForum.org

    1. Pour milk into vat.
    2. Heat slowly to 32°C/90°F, stir slowly so doesn’t catch or have cold areas. Maintain temperature through whole process vat. ie turn heat off and on.
    3. Optionally add and stir in Lipase, method to add at Wiki: Ingredients,When To Add.
    4. Optionally add and stir in Calcium Chloride, method to add at Wiki: Ingredients,When To Add.
    5. Add and stir in Mesophilic Starter Culture, method to add at Wiki: Ingredients,When To Add.
    6. Cover and set aside ~ 60 minutes for milk to ripen (starter culture to start working and acidity to drop).
    7. Dilute rennet and stir in, method to add at Wiki: Ingredients,When To Add.
    8. Cover and set aside for curd to form.
    9. Cut curd after ~60 minutes or use one of the more advanced methods to determine when to cut detailed at Wiki: Curds,When To Cut.
    10. When curd is ready to cut, cut into roughly even sized ~1 cm/0.5 inch cubes, more information at Wiki: Breaking Or Cutting The Curd.
    11. Let freshly cut fragile curds sit undisturbed for 10 minutes to heal.
    12. Gently stir cut curds for ~10-45 minutes, stir occasionally and slowly initially when curds fragile (ensure cut curds do not knit together) to medium speed and more often when curds have released more whey and tougher. Less time and stirring will result in softer Feta, longer will result in harder-crumblier Feta.
    13. Allow curds to settle in whey for 5 minutes then ladle or pour off whey down to level of curds. If making whey based brine, retain whey volume of roughly half amount of milk into brining container.
    14. To drain and form Feta, either:

      Fresh Feta In Water Brine - CheeseForum.org

      Fresh Feta In Water Brine - CheeseForum.org

      • Scoop curds out of vat with basket and place on draining tray, then ladle remaining curds and whey onto top of baskets. Or ladle cut curds and remaining whey into camembert style draining hoops on mats on draining board. Turn cheese several times, and let drain overnight at rom temperature. More information at Wiki: Turning Cheeses.
      • Ladle the curds and remaining whey into a cheesecloth lined colander in sink allowing whey to be discarded down drain. Tie corners of cloth into knot and hang for 12 hours or overnight over sink or stockpot to discard or catch and then discard draining whey. Every 4-8 hours scrape drier cheese off of cloth to allow mositure cheese to drain better.
    15. Remove Feta from baskets or hoops or from hanging cheese cloth and optionally cut into ~3 cm/1 inch cubes.
    16. To salt Feta, either:
      • Sprinkle with salt (6% by weight).
      • Place cheeses or cut cheeses in 5-15% brine solution. See Wiki: Brine For Ripening Cheese linked above.
    17. While Feta can be consumed immediately after salting, it is preferrable to ripen at ~15C/60F for minimum 4-5 days.
    18. Place in cold household refrigerator, consume within 1 week if dry salted, by 1 month if low 5% brine, by 1 year if 15% brine.

    Notes

    1. Allow minimum of 7 hours to make and then drain overnight.
    2. If your Feta is too salty, soak in fresh water or milk for a while before serving. Note, higher % brine and lower storage temperature results in longer shelf life Feta.
    3. If your Feta is too rubbery reduce the temperature next time you make.
    4. If your Feta it is too soft, salt later as acidity was still to low; if too crumbly, salt sooner.
    5. Add fresh herbs (i.e. coriander, basil, or rosemary) and garlic into vat after whey removed down to top of curds, stir to distribute, then ladle the cut curds, remaining whey, and herbs into the molds or cheesecloth.
    6. Can replace NaCl salt in brine with 1/2 KCl salt for less salty tasting, but still long preservation Feta.

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