In the quest to make everything myself, I started producing my own cheeses. Feta was a good choice to start with, as I now can turn it round from milk to edible cheese in six days. We have now come a long way in producing Buckingham’s Blue, Buckingham’s Brie, a single milk Derbyshire (similar to a Wensleydale). I am now waiting for my Parmesan to mature. It’s had 14 months already, and we hope to be tasting it at Christmas.
In the meantime, here’s my recipe for that first Feta.
This recipe assumes you will follow all the sanitising and hygiene requirements for the making of cheese.
25 litres milk from a farm at Stanage Edge (if possible!)
6 ml rennet
½ teaspoon Starter DVI
1 Pasteurise the milk at 63c for 30 minutes then cool to 29c
2 Add starter, stir well and leave for 30 minutes
3 After 30 minutes add rennet in a little boiled cooled water – stir well
4 Cover; slowly heat to 33c for 60 minutes until set (clean break)
5 Cut into 3cm cubes
6 Leave for 15 minutes at room temp (20c)
7 Let curds settle; when firm fill moulds and turn upside down every hour for half a day to drain, then stand over night
8 When firm enough (after 24 hours) soak in brine – 16% (10 tablespoon to 1 litre water), for 1 to 4 days
10 Check for flavour then wrap in cling film
11 Age in cheese cave (or fridge) between 4/8c for up to 4 weeks in brine 8% . You can start eating after six days – the longer you leave it in the brine the saltier it will be.
12 If you find the Feta cheese is too salty soak in cold water for an hour.