Saturday, August 15, 2009

Feta Cheese Recipe (Raw)

One of the other cheeses I make that people just seem to go crazy over is feta. This is another cheese I don't have to age and it is super easy to make. The only hard part is keeping all of us out of it while it is brining on the counter! When I trade cheese for eggs or what have you, most people pick my feta cheese over the queso fresco. I give this to my hair dresser in lieu of a tip and she always brags to the other hair dresser that she got the best tip of the day :). We use this cheese in our scrambled eggs, breakfast hash, tacos, quesadillas, omelets, burgers and of course our salads or just as a snack all by itself. It is nice because it is already cut up and I just throw a handful into whatever I'm making. This recipe is for approximately 4 lbs, using 4 gallons of milk. You can reduce it down if you'd like. It freezes really well, so why not make a lot? You can use goat or cow's milk for this recipe.

Raw Feta Cheese Recipe:
1. Heat 4 gallons of milk to 86 degrees F for a moist cheese, 90 degrees F for a drier cheese (can use skim milk if desired, but it will make less, also eating the cream with the raw milk is better for you) Add 1/4 tsp direct set mesophilic starter or 8 oz prepared mesophilic starter. Cover and allow milk to ripen for 1 hour.

2. In 1/4 cup of unchlorinated water, add 1 tsp liquid rennet or 1 rennet tablet. Stir. Add the rennet/water solution to milk and gently stir with an up and down motion for a minute. Cover and set at 86 degrees for 1 hour.

3. Cut the curd into 1/2 cubes. Set undisturbed for 10 minutes. (The picture above was taken just after I cut the curd)

4. Gently stir curds for 20 minutes.

5. Drain as much whey as you can, (You can see the three full jars of whey in the background - save it for other uses) until you can pour or scoop curds into a cheese cloth-lined colander. Tie the corners of the cheesecloth into a knot and hang bag over cheese pot. Let drain for 4 to 6 hours. (I use a Pampered Chef barbecue basting brush to hang my cheese on. Use whatever works for you. If you are doing less than 4 lbs, you can get away with just pouring the curds and whey directly into the cheese cloth-lined colander.)

6. Untie bag and cut curds into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes. Lay out in non-metallic pans (I use stoneware, can also use glass), then sprinkle with with salt to taste. I use coarse-ground Celtic Sea Salt.

7. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, At about 12 hours, pour off the whey, stir cheese around a bit and add more salt if needed. After 24 hours, put in fridge or freeze.
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Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

You amaze me, girl!

The Real Me! said...

Oh girl! I love feta cheese. I wish I had something to trade you for it! LOL
How about a crocheted scarf? LOL

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I love crocheted scarves. Wish we lived closer. I'd trade with you!

Mrs. Deem said...

Jackie! These recipes are great!!! Thank you so much for posting. I just need to find raw milk...and I'll be set. ;-)

Anonymous said...

how do you keep the cheese at 86 degrees for an hour? Is this something you bring up to temp, put a lid on, and turn off the heat?

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I heat the cheese up to 86 degrees, 90 degrees F if you want a drier cheese. Right when it gets to the desired temp, remove it from the heat, put the lid on. A decent stainless steel pot will hold the heat for the two hours you need to put the culture in and then the rennet. Great question!


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