Well, perhaps not great, but experiment anyway.
I have made 3 batches of Feta and have been very pleased with the results. I have read several Feta recipes and they have basically three different methods of salting the cheese before storing: sprinkling, brining, and skipping the salting step.
As a curious cheese scientist student I want to know how the different salting methods effect the outcome. So I decided to divide my next batch into three different ways of salting. Furthermore, I will store half of each in strong brine and half in mild brine.
The recipe I used:ingredients
- 10 liters fresh milk
- 1/4 tsp MM4001 mesophilic starter
- 1/2 tsp mild lipase
- 10 ml liquid rennet
- Heat milk to 32°C
- Add the starter and the lipase, stir well. Let the milk ripen for 60 minutes.
- Add the rennet, stir well. Let the curd form 60 minutes.
- Test for clean break. Cut into 1cm cubes.
- Let the curds heal for five minutes.
- Heal for 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.
- Let the curds settle for 5 minutes.
- Pour into a colander lined with a cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth to a bag and hang for 4 hours.
- Turn the cheese. Let it hang for 24 hours.
- Cut the cheese into smaller pieces, salt and store in brine.
After hanging I divided the cheese (1650g) into three not-so-equal portions. My guesstimation missed a bit and I ended with one 400g block and two bigger ones. No matter.
The first one (exhibit
I chopped into 3cm cubes and stored half of it in 14% brine and half of it in 8% brine. No additional salting.
The second one (exhibit B) I dumped into a saturated brine for 5hours and 30 minutes. This estimate is based on Peter Dixon's “8 hours per pound of cheese”. I had two 330 gram blocks. After brining, I chopped them into 3cm cubes and stored in 8% and 14% brines.
The third (exhibit C) one chopped into 3cm cubes (surprise), and salted by sprinkling the surfaces with salt. I used about 10 grams of salt for 400 grams of cheese. These cubes were left for 3 days in room temperature to mature and then stored in 8% and 14% brines.
Now they are all happily in their brines, waiting to mature. I was thinking I'd test the taste/structure every two weeks. Starting now.
Handy spoon holder & too much milk.