Feta cheese is perfect for beginners. It is cheaper than store-bought feta and doesn’t require any special techniques or ripening. Here is how to make feta in your own kitchen!
Feta is a basic salt-brined, white cheese. It is similar to a variety of white, crumbly cheeses found all over Europe and the Middle East. Recipes vary based on the type of milk available and bacterial culture.
The recipe assumes that you have a basic understanding of the cheesemaking process. If you need more detailed information read my posts on how to make cheese. They cover everything from how to sanitize to the type of milk to use.
How to use white cheese
If you turn a gallon of milk into feta cheese, you end up with a lot of feta! Here are a few recipes, beyond the infamous Greek salad, that feature the salty flavor of feta.
- Feta and onion stuffed Hasselback baked potatoes
- Fasolakia – Greek green beans and tomato stew
- Spanakopita lasagna – An easy and gluten-free version of spinach pie
- Mediterranean quinoa salad – A hearty version of Greek Salad
- Farinata – Italian chickpea pancake
- Baked polenta – A pizza-like polenta dish
- Turkish chickpea stew topped with kale and feta
How To Make Feta Cheese
Feta is a good homemade cheese for beginners. It involves all the steps involved in cheesemaking but doesn’t require any special techniques or ripening. It is fast, affordable, and delicious!
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: Approx. 1 lbs of cheese
- Category: Cheese
- Method: Cultured
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
For the cheese
- 2 liters of milk (goat, sheep, or cow milk)
- 1/8 tsp of mesophilic starter or 1/4 cup of milk kefir
- 1/8 tsp of food-grade calcium chloride in 2 Tbsp filtered water
- 1/4 tsp of liquid rennet in 2 Tbsp filtered water (see notes)
For the brine
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp salt (non-iodized)
- Heat the milk to 86 F (30C).
- Stir in culture. Keep at 86 F for 1 hour.
- Stir in calcium chloride, then the rennet. Mix thoroughly.
- Maintain the heat and leave to sit for 1 hour for the curd to set.
- When the curd shows a clean break, cut the curds into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Cook the curds by stirring every 5 minutes for the next 1/2 hour, slowly raising the temperature to 90F (32C).
- Line a strainer with butter muslin and pour the curds and whey into it.
- Either pack the drained curds into a feta mold or hang the curd in the butter muslin.
- Allow to drain for 8-12 hours. If you are using a mold, flip the cheese at least twice to ensure even drainage.
- Prepare the brine ahead of time to make sure that all the salt has dissolved.
- After the cheese has finished draining, cut it into 2-4 pieces and place it in the brine. Store it in the fridge and allow it to ripen for at least 5 days.
- Please read up on the detailed processes involved with cheesemaking if you are uncertain about any of the steps in this recipe.
- Follow the instructions on your rennet package to set 2 liters of milk.
- If you find that the feta is too salty, simply reduce the amount of salt in your brine to 1 Tbsp, or rinse the cheese before using it.
- Feta will last for at least a month in the fridge. However, because it contains a living culture it will continue to ferment and sour over time.
Keywords: Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish, goat, sheep, cow, brined, homemade, cheesemaking, frugal, zero waste,