I love making Feta. And yes! from Goat's milk. Any cheese can be made from goat milk. Traditional Feta is made with sheep milk. I read somewhere it shouldn't be called Feta since it is from goat. How about Feta-da!
It's not a difficult cheese to make. Takes about 3 hours in the kitchen and about 3 more hours thru the week. Mostly, it's me waiting for the enzymes to do their magic or the rennet wait time. Draining takes about 5-9 hours. And the curing of it by salting, and draining additional whey takes about 4 days. Then I stick in the fridge to cure. Finally, it goes into a jar with oil and herbs.
|look at size of cheese at beginning to drain and size after 8 hours below cut.|
I like to baby my Feta. Its right there in a air tight tupperware right by the coffee, every time I go in to get a cup of joe, I re-salt and drain out more whey. I will do this 4 times or more on the first day. Subsequent days: 3 times or down to 2 by day 3 or 4. This is the key, drain that whey out constantly and at some points coat with salt again.
|2 gallons of milk yield this much Feta.|
|Cut up in 3 inch sized cubes to cure.|
When the Feta starts to harden and there is little to no whey draining in the tupperware, I then put in the fridge. I will check it again the next day, just in case more whey came out. If by the 4th day your Feta is still rubbery feeling- its' a dud batch. You can keep trying to salt and pull out the whey but you are increasing the chance of mold starting. If you see mold? Chickens get a treat! I like it hard to the point of crumbly. But not crumbled. That is what old fashioned true European Feta is like. Once it goes into the oils (or brine) it needs to stay that way.
Timely, but so worth it.
I use a modified Mary Jane Toth " Goat's Produce Too" recipe.
Yes, so many books and I go back to the simplest and my first recipe book when needed. It works. And when I try a new recipe from another book and something doesn't work out? I know its because the book is lacking a critical step. Goat's Produce Too has never failed me.
I like the Strong Feta recipe. I have tried a few different cultures in the past. Each one is good for a certain taste you're trying to achieve. Since mine is strong and salty and aged long, I go with cultures that add to that pungent flavor I want. I want my Feta strong! When messing around with the different cultures it's first a good idea to know how your Feta sets up. I made it the same way over and over before I started messing around with various cultures.
Every batch though will be different. That is the beauty of small production. I'm never going to sell something that I don't absolutely love, but there are times when one batch is tangy-ier (is that a word?) and some batches are harder and crumblier. One batch had a hint of something. Only I could taste it way back at the roof of my mouth but it was there and slight. And I liked it. And guess what? I can't figure out what It was. Oh well. That's the fun of it. If you want consistent always the same, never different -then store bought is for you. Me? I'll stick with Feta-da.
|Rosemary, Thyme, Olive and Sunflower oil Feta.|