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Fool-Proof Feta

From Dominique Wong

1-3 gallons of milk: heat to 78°F.

Add 1/4 teaspoon mesophilic direct set culture

Add 1/8-1/4 teaspoon lipase (I use the mild lipase.)

Stir and let sit for an hour or so.

Add 1/16 teaspoon powdered rennet and stir gently. (Add a generous 1/16th if you are using 2-3 gallons of milk.)

When there is a clean break—usually in an hour or two depending on the temperature of the room—cut the curds into smaller pieces, about 1/2 inch or so. Bigger curds at this stage makes for a less dry and crumbly final product. So cut the curds smaller if you want that really dry feta.

Let curds sit in whey for about 10 minutes; don’t stir.

Drain off the whey and dump the curds into a colander. Leave to drain for 24 hours or so. (Sometimes I have to tip the colander to drain any extra whey that collects on the top of the curds, or even flip it to get off the extra whey that pools.)

Cut the curds into the size cubes you want. Salt with coarse non-iodized salt until each cube is moderately salted. Let sit in the colander or a bowl for 2-3 days at room temperature, or if the cubes are too soft then let them sit in the refrigerator with the top of the container open.

Put in jars and add brine. My brine recipe is 1/4 cup coarse non-iodized salt to 1 quart pre-boiled or spring water.
I have kept this feta in brine in my refrigerator for over a year and it keeps great. Just make sure all parts of the cheese are covered with brine. I also recommend buying those plastic lids for the mason jars—they aren’t affected by the brine like the metal lids are.

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