Have you thought about making feta? You CAN do it! Gather your supplies, including the culture for Feta Cheese from NWFerments.
This is not an all-in-one direct set like some cheeses, so you'll need to get animal rennet or vegetable rennet as well! Mine is made with a portion of the vegetable rennet tablet.
The process is straight forward, but be sure to get our directions and read them thoroughly several days in advance. You do not want to get started and then have a hiccup.
- Heat the milk very slowly on low heat to 86ºF.
- Add culture to surface of milk, wait a few minutes, then stir well.
- Let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Dilute rennet in ¼ cup water, and mix into the milk in an up-and-down back and forth motion, NOT a whisking or stirring motion.
- Put the lid on the pot and let it culture for 30-40 minutes.
- When set, cut the curds into ½ cubes.
- Stir gently a few times over 20 minutes.
- Spoon curds into bowl lined with butter muslin/cheesecloth.
- Drain at least 4 hours to overnight, until nothing else drips out.
- To store, put curds in a jar. Cover with brine (2 T. salt per quart water).
- Put the lid on and it can be stored for about 5 days!
Now for some visuals! The ½ rennet tablet in water:
It will look cloudy when dissolved:
I like to first pour my rennet through a slotted spoon, then use the spoon for the up-and-down side-to-side incorporation in the milk:
While I wait for the curds to form, I get my draining station ready:
I have curds! Check out my fingerprints on the surface! HA!
Here you can see as I begin to cut the curd (not cut the cheese, hush now) how jiggly yet solid it is:
Stirring the curds:
Ladling the curds in:
Time to drain! Hubby gets annoyed at this stage because it's hard to open the cabinet to get to our dishes
What the feta looks like when I first peel away the cloth:
Then a bit more pretty when it goes in the jar:
And finally, in the brine solution!
This feta was gone within 2 days, by the time I got around to actually having time to write the article. It's THAT yummydon't forget the salt and spices!