feta cheese

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Make Feta Cheese

Monday 16th May 2022 |

Have you heard of the famous poem, Odyssey? If so, you might remember some mention of feta, a cheese made and consumed in Ancient Greece that goes back as far as the 700s BC.

What’s interesting about feta cheese is that once it’s made, it can be ready to eat in just a few days. This is unlike other cheeses that take months to turn out.

If you are new to cheesemaking, learning how to make feta cheese is a great start! Keep reading to learn the ingredients and steps.

Feta Cheese Ingredients 

For this feta cheese recipe, you’ll need a few different ingredients. You likely have some in your kitchen already, others you will need to seek out.
The ingredients for homemade feta cheese are:

1 gallon of non-ultra-pasteurized whole cow or goat milk
1/8 teaspoon Mesophilic starter culture
1 1/4 teaspoons divided calcium chloride
2 quarts of cool water
1/2 tablet rennet (plus 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet or 1/4 cup water)
1 to 1 1/4 pounds of non-iodized salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of cider or white vinegar

You can find cheese culture for feta online.  Along with ingredients, you’ll need the following equipment: 

Large stainless steel pot
Thermometer
Cheese or bread knife
Butter muslin or cheesecloth
Colander
Sterilize all of your equipment before starting.

How to Make Feta Cheese: The Steps 

  • Once you’ve gathered the above items, you’re ready to begin! Follow these steps:
  • Pour the milk into the pot
  • Place the pot in the sink and fill the sink with hot water 3/4 up the sides of the pot
  • Slowly heat the milk to 86 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Stir in the Mesophilic starter culture
  • Keep this mixture at 86 degrees F for one hour
  • During this one hour, it’s best to take the pot out of the water. If left in the hot water, the mixture could overheat.

After the hour is up, follow these steps for part two: 

  • Stir in 1/4 of calcium chloride
  • Add liquid rennet to the milk and stir for one minute (if using a rennet tablet, dissolve in 1/4 cool water before adding to the milk)
  • Leave the mixture for 30 minutes while maintaining 86 degrees F
  • Feel the semi-solid milk mixture (curd) to check for a clean break. It should feel like firm yogurt. If you don’t get a clean break, wait an additional 30 minutes.
  • Cut the curd with a long-bladed knife to make slices that look like a tic tac toe board. Cut through those squares again to get 1-inch chunks.
  • Stir the chunks and put the pot back in the sink to raise the temperature to 95 degrees F. This should take about an hour. Once the right temperature is reached, follow these steps:
  • Line the colander with butter muslin or cheesecloth layers
  • Pour in the curds and tie up the muslin
  • Drain for four hours
  • Cut the blocks into 3-inch pieces
  • Drain for another 30 minutes
  • Next, make your saturated brine, and submerge your blocks of feta into it for 10 to 12 hours.

You’re Almost Done 

After leaving your feta in the brine, drain it and leave it uncovered for 1 to 2 days. You now know how to make feta cheese!
You can store your homemade cheese in the refrigerator or a cool cellar. This cheese will be good for one to two weeks.
Enjoy this homemade feta on salads, pasta, and soups. Don’t forget to come back to this blog for more articles on different foods.

Why not try your homemade cheese on some Swish crackers?

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