Feta Cheese

Photo Credit: The Spruce Eats

Feta Cheese

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Feta is a soft brined curd cheese that originally came from Greece. There it was traditionally made with sheep or goat’s milk, but commonly, especially in the U.S., it’s made with cow’s milk as well. The word Feta itself appropriately means ‘slice’ in Greek.

Normally, Feta cheese is a skinless aged cheese in a cube shape. Feta either commonly comes soaked in brine in a square block or already crumbled in a container without brine. It has a very salty taste to it and when it’s stored in its brine, it develops a more salter flavor. Since Feta cheese easily crumbles and is salty, it makes Feta absolutely perfect for topping off any dish including salads, pastries, and pizzas.

Since Feta can be made with different types of milk, it’s understandable that the different types of Feta have distinct flavors. Sheep’s milk Feta has more of a tangy and sharp taste, while goat’s milk Feta has a much milder taste to it. Although Feta can be made with cow’s milk, more commonly done in the U.S., the fact that it’s typically made with either sheep’s milk or goat’s milk, allows individuals with dairy intolerances to enjoy Feta and incorporate it in their diet without any discomfort.

Feta has a lot of health benefits as well. It’s absolutely full of vitamins and minerals that your body craves. Feta is high in vitamins A, B-6, and D and high in minerals such as Cobalamin, Magnesium, and Iron as well. In one serving of Feta, there is over 14 grams of protein and 49% of your daily calcium intake. All this nutritious value that Feta brings to the table makes it a great snack to have on its own or the perfect nutritious addition to any meal.

Aging: 3-4 Days

Skill Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ gallon of milk of choice
  • ⅛ tsp of Mesophilic Culture
  • Rennet as per manufacturer’s instructions
  • Non-iodized cheese salt or canning salt
  • ⅛ tsp of calcium chloride diluted in ¼ cup of water (not required for pasteurized milk)

Equipment Needed:

  1. Heat the Milk & Add Culture

  • Heat your milk up. When it reaches 90F you can start to add your culture in
  • You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
  • Allow the milk and culture mixture to ripen for 1 hour
  1. Add Rennet

  • After ripening for 1 hour, you can add your diluted Rennet and allow the mixture to rest for an additional hour
  1. Cut the Curd

  • After an hour, your curd should be ready to be cut, if not, allow it to sit for longer
  • Cut the curd into 1 cm cube size pieces
  • Allow the curd to rest for at least 10 minutes
  1. Cook the Curds

  • Slowly, bring the curds up to a temperature of 100F over a period of 30 minutes
  • Stir constantly during these 30 minutes to ensure the curds don’t clump together
  • After the 30 minutes, allow the curds to rest for at least 10 minutes
  1. Press the Curds

  • Using a ladle, transfer the curds into a colander that’s lined with cheesecloth or a Feta mold with cheesecloth inside.
  • Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and hang your knotted cheesecloth to use its own weight. The cheesecloth weight should be used to press the curds itself or you can simply press the cheese by putting the curds in a rectangular mold with a cheesecloth inside for at least 4 hours with 30lb of weight on it.
  1. Flavor the Cheese

  • Cut the cheese into cubes and sprinkle generously with salt
  • Continue to have your cheese drain on a draining mat overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  1. Aging and Storing the Cheese

  • Set your cheese on your bench top and allow it to age for at least 3-4 days. If your house is too hot, you can put the Feta in the refrigerator to age instead.
  • Short-term your Feta can be stored in the refrigerator if you intend to eat it immediately. If not, it should be stored in a brine solution in the refrigerator.
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