Today we’ll be making feta cheese! Although traditionally made with sheep’s or goat’s milk, I haven’t yet made the trek up north to get my paws on goat’s milk, so regular cow for this one. I discovered that I don’t need to use the uber-spendy Mill King milk to get coagulation; I can just use the most basic, non-organic milk from HEB. However I have read that getting the best quality milk you can makes the best cheese.
I’m setting out for success after the last feta. After heating the milk to 86F with my fancy new digital thermometer, I added the mesophilic culture.
I let it sit on the milk’s surface for 2 min to hydrate. Stirring with an up-and-down motion to incorporate the culture prevents a whirlpool from forming, causing heavier components to sink to the bottom. I let the milk ripen for an hour.
After adding diluted CaCl and rennet and letting it sit for an hour, it was time to cut the curd.
I let the curd sit undisturbed for 10 min.
While heating the milk to 90F, I stirred the curd gently to get it to release more whey.
Time to drain the curds.
Curds and whey. I tied up the muslin and hung from a banana tree overnight to drain more.
So nice. I sliced this up and laid the slices in plastic tubs.
Then I sprinkled both sides with 2 tbsp salt total.
For the next 5 days I’ll be checking on the slices, letting the released whey drain and flipping the cheese.
5 days later: I flipped the cheese diligently but there was never much whey extruded. I cubed the slices and dumped em into my brine, which is 2 cups conserved whey plus 1 tbsp salt.
Brine drained after a few days. Now the cheese is ready to eat!
Here is one example of how I ate the feta.