This tangy, salty cheese originated in Greece. They usually make it with a combination of sheep and goat's milk. I use our goat milk but you can use cow's milk too. This cheese can be sliced and frozen to crumble later or crumbled now, frozen on a sheet and then bagged to keep. Its one of the easier cheeses to make and is a bit more forgiving that others.
Homemade Feta Style Cheese1 gallon milk (preferably raw and can use cow or goat)
1/16 teaspoon Mesophilic starter culture powder
1/8 teaspoon liquid rennet
1 cup (approx) canning salt (non-iodized)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Heat the milk in a double boiler until it is 86 degrees.
Turn off heat. Add dry culture and stir. If you are making more than one gallon you will need to double, triple, or quadruple your measures. Let sit for 30-45 minutes.
Add liquid rennet (don't forget to multiply if you are making more than 1 gallon) over a slotted spoon to help disperse the rennet. Stir for 10 seconds and then slow the milk from swirling.
Allow the milk to set for 10-15 minutes to coagulate. Let it sit for another 45-60 minutes until it starts coming off the side of the pot. Even if you go a little past that point it will still be fine. Cut the curd int 1" cubes vertically. Then use a bent ladle to cut to cut 1" horizontally.
Stir the curds a couple times each 5 minutes for 20 minutes total.
Drain into a cheesecloth lined colander.
They are quite full of whey so you may need to allow them to drain some before putting into your cheeseform. Then add the rest and drain and then add them to the cheeseform. You can use any type of form or container as long as it has small holes and a bottom. I set my cheeseform on top of another cheeseform that was flipped so it wasn't sitting in whey. You do not need a cheesecloth in the cheeesform.
We made 4 gallons of milk and this is how full the container was!
In 15 minutes it has already drain this much!
Still going down!
After about 30 minutes and with a little help from someone you should be able to flip it.
Flip every hour or two for about 8-12 hours.
At this point it is pretty much done draining.
Time to add some non-iodized salt. Sprinkle with salt morning and night for 3 days while it sits out at room temperature. Excess salt will drain away. If by chance you notice a slippery surface you will need to move your cheese to the fridge. This is more of an issue in a hot, humid summer.
Tada!! After 3 days of room temperature salting this is what we have.
To store your cheese in a large hunk in the fridge until you have time to freeze or to keep on hand you will need a brine. The brine is 1 quart of water, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 2/3 cup of salt. Heat water and add vinegar and salt, stir until dissolved. Cool. Add to your container with a lid containing your cheese. It should float. If it doesn't you need more salt. If it looks like the cheese is dissolving you need to add a little bit more vinegar. If you don't you will have no more cheese. :(
Shared with permission from Merryl Winstein. She wants everyone to learn to make cheese!