Recipe for Feta cheese:
Soft, brine pickled cheese made in many countries from local milk (i.e. cow's, sheep's or goat's milk). Methods of manufacture vary slightly according to type of milk used. The cheese are cubical or rectangular in shape and made in various sizes and weights. Sheep's milk is preferred since the cheese is white. Cow's milk imparts a yellow colour to the cheese.
Rind. None, soft and white.
Curd. Soft and white.
Texture. Soft and not firm enough for slicing. No gas holes but with mechanical holes between curds.
Flavour and aroma. Piquant, slightly acid and salty but not bitter.
Milk. Sheep's or sheep's and goat's milk mixed. Cow's milk occasionally. High fat milk preferably.
Heat treatment. None in farmsteads but collected milks are heat treated.
Take milk to rennet temperature 32-33 C (90-91 F)
Starter. None to 1-3% starter (starter in heat treated milks). Mesophilic Streptococcus lactis and S. cremoris. Milk may be ripened before rennet is added. (acidity 0.19)
Rennet. 20-30 ml of rennet extract per 100 litres (22 gallons) of milk. Powder rennet (2 g) may also be used. Temperature variable but normally 33 C (91 F). Curds should be firm to cut in 50-100 min. according to temperature. Longer setting time in winter.
Cutting. Cut into 2-3cm cubes. Leave for cubes to become firmer (10- 15 min).
Drainage: Method 1: Ladle curds into, cloth-lined hoops (molds) about 6 inches deep, on a drainer.
Next morning turn the cheese, (still in mold) and leave 24 hours (if necessary cut the cheese into blocks).
Method 2: Ladle curds (uncut) in slices into cloths. Hang the cloths by the corners to drain for 2 h. Press the curd (in the cloth) into balls (cubes) on the drainer.
Salting. The cheese are dry salted with coarse salt for two days. 6% of salt is incorporated in the curd. Alternatively, immerse in salt brine (16% salt) for 24 h.
Do not salt too soon or the acidity will still be low.
Ripening. (1) Ripen the cheese on a drainer/rack for 8-15 days.
(2) Or ripen for 1-2 days then pack in container/jar .Fill spaces between curds with broken curds and top up with brine).
Ripen the cheese for about 30 days at 9-10 C (48 - 50 F).
Storage. store at 2-5 C (35-41 F).
This method gives you real Feta with flavour. Not just sharp and salty.
If your cheese is too salt simply rinse in fresh water for a while before serving.
If your cheese is too rubbery reduce the temperature next time you make.
If it is too crumbly salt sooner.
Sheep's milk is the preferred milk for Feta cheese. Goat's milk makes a harder curd with stronger flavour. Cow's milk gives a yellow tint to curd)