Feta Cheese From Scratch

Did you know you can make your own Feta Cheese From Scratch?! It's a labor of love, but so incredibly worth it!
Author: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/homemade-feta.aspx

Ingredients

  • For the cheese:
  • 1/2  cup plain low-fat yogurt with live cultures
  • 1 gallon whole pasteurized milk
  • 1/4 tsp. lipase powder preferably calf
  • 3/4 tsp. calcium chloride
  • 1/4 tsp. liquid rennet
  • 1-1/2 oz. kosher salt about 3 tablespoons
  • For the brine:
  • 2 oz. kosher salt about 1/4 cupy Chicory

Instructions

  • Day 1: Make the cheese curd:
  • Sterilize all the equipment you will need for this first day of work. Clean all counters with hot soapy water or an antibacterial wipe.
  • In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with 1/2 cup of the milk.
  • In a deep 8- to 10-quart pot, heat the remaining milk over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until it registers 90°F on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the yogurt mixture. Turn off the heat (leave the pot on the burner), cover, and let sit for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl with a soupspoon, stir the lipase with 1/4 cup water until blended—it doesn’t matter if the lipase stays a little lumpy. Let sit for 20 minutes. Stir in the calcium chloride and rennet until the mixture is smooth and blended.
  • Turn the burner under the milk mixture to medium low, add the lipase mixture and stir with a slotted spoon for 1 minute. Stop the movement of the milk with the spoon and hold a thermometer in the center of the milk—the temperature should be at least 96°F; if necessary, continue heating until it comes up to temperature.
  • Remove the thermometer, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit undisturbed until the curd is firm and has a clean “cleave,” 1 to 3 hours. To determine a clean cleave, wash your hands with soap and hot water and insert a finger (or a sterilized spoon) 1 inch diagonally into the curd and pull straight up. If the cleave is clean, the curd will split with sharp edges and whey will start to fill the split.
  • Cut the curd:
  • With a table knife, cut the curd all the way to the bottom of the pot in a 1/2 -inch crosshatch pattern. Turn the heat to low and heat for 5 minutes. Stir the curd with the slotted spoon and insert a thermometer; it should read at least 96°F. If not, continue heating, stirring occasionally, until the curds come up to temperature, increasing the heat to medium low, if necessary.
  • Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes to break up large chunks.

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