Making Feta Cheese
Ingredient List- For one pound
One Gallon Pasteurized Goats Milk (although Cows milk will work)
1/4 tsp Lipase Powder (when using cows milk)
1/2 Tsp powdered Mesophilic Starter
4 tablespoons flaked salt
1) Heat the milk in a double boiler until it reaches about 85 deg F.. Pour in the mesophilic starter culture and the lipase powder (if you are using lipase) and stir well. Remove from heat and cover stock pot with lid. Allow the milk to ripen for one hour.
2) After one hour of ripening, blend in the rennet. Be sure to dissolve the rennet (liquid or tablet) in some cool water prior to adding to the milk. Be sure tablet is dissolved. Stir rennet mixture into the milk and stir well. Cover the stock pot again.
3) Once the curd has set, cut the curd into 1/2 inch cubes. Then, allow them to rest for about 20 minutes. During this process, the whey will tend to rise to the surface. After the 20 minutes, begin gently stirring the curds for another half hour. This will help to keep the curds from sticking together and also release more whey.
4) After resting and stirring the curds, line a colander with a double thickness of cheese cloth. Then, ladle the curds into the colander. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together to form a draining bag.
Use a chop stick or spoon handle pushed through the cheesecloth knot to hold the bag above a sink or pan to allow the whey to drip from the curd. Allow the bag of curds to drain for about 4-5 hours or until all the whey has dripped from the bag. At this point, you should have a solid mass of curd. If you do not, allow the bag to continue draining until you have a solid mass. Feel the bag of curd with your fingers to confirm.
5) Once there is no more whey draining from the bag and the curd is solid, untie the bag and transfer the curd to a large bowl. Cut the curd into 1 inch slices and then into 1 inch cubes. Pour the flaked salt onto the curds and roll the curd around in the salt so that all surfaces of the curd are covered in the salt. Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap or a tea towel. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for 4-5 days to age. After 5 days, wrap the feta in plastic wrap or foil.
Crumble the cheese into salads, soups or omelets. the cheese will last in the refrigerator for about a month.