FETA


YIELD: ± 450G FETA
   
Feta is a firm, heavily salted cheese. It can be served fresh with watermelon, brined or marinated in herbs and olive oil, and can be used in cooking (i.e. spinach and feta dishes), or added into Greek salad. Feta is a delicious accompaniment to fruit or antipasto platters and can be sliced, cubed or crumbled.
   
INGREDIENTS:
4 litres full cream milk (not UHT)
1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride, diluted in 1/4 cup filtered water (if milk is store bought)
1 dose mesophilic cheese culture i.e. M030
1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet, diluted in 1/4 cup filtered water
2-4 tablespoons cheese salt (or sea salt flakes)
1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon calcium chloride and cheese salt, for brine (optional)
   
METHOD:
  1. Sterilise equipment.
  2. Whisk calcium chloride solution into milk.
  3. Warm milk (indirectly) to 86°F (30°C). Remove from heat.
  4. Add cheese culture. Whisk. Cover. Rest for 1 hour.
  5. Whisk rennet solution into the milk for 1 minute. Cover. Rest for 1 hour.
  6. Check for a clean break.
  7. Cut the curd into 1 1/2 cm cubes. Cover. Rest for 10 minutes. Stir for 20 minutes.
  8. Drain the curd by scooping into two cheesecloth-lined feta baskets or a cheesecloth-lined colander.
  9. Stack baskets and press with 2kg weight, rotating every 15 minutes for 90 minutes, then hourly for 5 1/2 hours of pressing in total. Feta can also be suspended in cheesecloth.
  10. Dice feta and place into curing box. Sprinkle with salt. Age cheese for 3-5 days before eating within 7-10 days. Cheese can be vacuum sealed.
  11. Longer storage: store feta (after aging 3-5 days) in a medium brine (8% salt) and consume within 30 days. Adding vinegar into the brine helps to prevent mould. Too strong a brine will crumble the feta, and too weak a brine allows “bad bacterial growth”. Feta can also be marinated.

 
    
 

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