Different kinds of FETA cheese

Discussion in 'Cheese & Dairy' started by Linda Carney, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Linda Carney

    Linda Carney New Member

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    There is a Greek Monastery almost two hours from us, we have visited a few times. The sisters want to learn to make different cheeses from their goat milk. Primarily they would like to learn FETA. I have made feta and consider that it came out well, we liked it as well as others that tasted it. When we had lunch at New Year's they served what they called FETA but it seemed more like chevre to me. Talking to some European immigrants they told me that in Europe there is a soft FETA. My question: How would I make soft Feta?

    Linda
     
  2. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    You can make soft Feta by using lower temps and cutting a larger curd. Remember to handle the curd very gently.

    Christy
     

  3. Linda Carney

    Linda Carney New Member

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    So Christy,

    You hang, dry and salt the same way and still put it in brine? but just larger pieces and ever so gently handled?

    Linda
     
  4. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Yes, hang it but check often the firmness and texture. Watch for the whey to stop dripping. It wont need much time in the brine, maybe just a couple of hours, maybe 6 hours. Think sweet not salty but you want it to have the Feta character. Another thing you may want to try if you want the creamy texture is to use 2Tbsp dilute rennet (3 drops rennet into 1/3c cool water) per gallon to gallon and a half of milk.

    If it is really creamy you might have to forgo the brine.

    Christy
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    also storing in milk rather than brine after it is finished leave a creamier feta. less salty and more sweet.
     
  6. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    I have heard of soaking feta in milk prior to eating to make it less salty but I haven't heard of storing it in milk.

    Christy
     
  7. Linda Carney

    Linda Carney New Member

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    Thanks for the link and the support. I'll try your tips tomarrow morning. How different will the chevre be from the softer sweeter feta. The character? It will not be dry but will have same open texture? I couldn't get the link to give me any recipes.... so I will try your recipe from the recipe section -- use flora danica and MM cultures. Would you still use lipase?

    Linda
     
  8. Linda Carney

    Linda Carney New Member

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    Christy, would you store the Feta the same as you would Chevre? I put mine in a take-along box. I am guessing the Feta would dry out if I did that. How long would you allow the flavor to develop?

    Linda
     
  9. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Yes, I think I'd try it with lipase. That will help bring the character of feta, otherwise it will just be Chrvre. Take notes on your times and temps. I suggest around 83F to start, though you could go as low as 80F.

    There is no telling at this point how different your cheese will be from the one you tasted. I can help you tweak it after you try it and see what you get :D Sorry I couldn't find you a tried and true recipe, but I hope you come up with one we can all use!

    Soft Feta is not aged. I think as soon as you remove it from the brine you can pat dry and put it in a plastic container, or roll it into a log and wrap in plastic.

    Christy
     
  10. Linda Carney

    Linda Carney New Member

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    Tremendous Thanks Christy -- yes, nothing like having the original Monastery recipe before they have tweaked it as a standard on our site!

    I sent them some soap that Vicki helped me make a month ago and they liked it so well they asked for the recipe -- the standard Walmart with GM recipe. ;) Maybe I can trade the Walmart recipe for their recipe for baklava!!

    Thanks again -- I'll report back...
    Linda
     
  11. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Hi Linda, I'm still thinking about this cheese. If you use dilute rennet it will take about 8 hours to get a clean break instead of 40 min. and most likely the resulting cheese will too soft for to brine. However the 8 hours would be great for developing flavor and you can salt to taste. If you make it like regular Feta with lower temps etc. it will be softer than traditional Feta, but I am not sure how soft you want it.

    Christy
     
  12. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Checking in...

    Hi Linda, have you had a chance to work on this cheese yet?

    I have been making quite a bit of Feta lately. I used the idea of working cooler to see how it affected the cheese. The Feta I made was softer, but not as soft as Chevre. The flavor is wonderful! It was so easy starting with morning milk and I never needed to use a water bath to maintain temp. This is how I did it,

    2 gal fresh from the doe filtered milk
    1 pkt meso
    1/4tea FD
    1/4tea lipase

    Culture 1 hr (at this point the end of culturing the temp of the milk was 86F and it stayed there for the rest of the process)

    Add, 1/2t rennet diluted in 1/4c water, mix well, rest 30 min to clean achieve break.

    Cut curd, rest 10 min. Stir curd 20 min. Let curds settle, pour off whey, drain curds. If you drain in a bag cut into slabs after hanging. sprinkle salt on both sides cure at room tamp 2 days salting and flipping every so often, refrigerate in brine.

    After doing this I think if you added FD and Lipase to the milk with a Chevre culture you could then shape into logs (if you are not using molds) and roll in salt to cure instead of trying a brine you might have it come out pretty close. I am tempted to try it my self. I’ll let you know how it turns out if I do.

    Christy
     
  13. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    ah that sounds good
     
  14. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    Great thread on this soft feta-thank you so much- I am going to try it tomorrow!
    If you see this post before then Christy can you tell me how much prepared culture I would use for 2 gallons. Thanks!

    I would also like to ask about a very soft mozzarella.
    We had it in Italy and it was divine. Never see it stateside. Small balls of it that were so creamy and the texture was nothing like the kind you bake with. It was for fresh eating.
    Does anyone know how to make this ? It was light and soft it barely held together.
    They stored until serving in very lightly salted water. In the markets it is for sale in big jars of this water and they scooped it out into a plastic bag for you to take along. Made from water buffalo milk- delightful! When a cafe had a salad bar there was a big bowl of the balls of this for eating with your bread and salad. YUM
    I was almost sure you could not get these results without buffalo milk!

    Thanks for the great question and answer! Looking forward to more great experiments!
    Lee
     
  15. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Great Lee! Let us know how it turns out :D

    1/2 c culture for 2 gallons of milk

    For that wonderful authentic Mozzarella you need to apply the same principal as with soft feta. Keep your temps low 83F-86F. Try the recipe in the sticky it is easy and has given reliable results. I tweaked it from Ricki's and Mary Jane Toth's recipes. Go easy on the microwave heating too, 30sec. knead lightly, check for consistency, repeat as needed. If you don't use a microwave I can post an alternative just let me know. Also I have a cultured Mozzarella recipe if you want to try it I can look it up for you.

    Christy
     
  16. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    Double thanks- just cultured all my cultures today so ready to roll!

    Lee
     
  17. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    ok- I did a batch that was sposed to be the soft feta. I followed Christy's directions but felt I had to hand mill the curds to get them finished at such a low temp. (86). I have hung and sliced and the slices were soaked in brine but I am afraid I ended up with something pretty much like normal feta! Did I over work the curd? I was worried about it being too gushy and so going sour which is why I broke them up by hand until they felt 'cooked'.
    I think I might try it again to see if I can keep the softer more creamy texture.
    Maybe because of being a bit softer than norm it soaked up the salt like mad and I think a very short or dilute brining would be best.
    Lee
     
  18. cmharris6002

    cmharris6002 Guest

    Yes, you probably overworked them. They are supposed to be soft :) When you gentely stir the curds for 20 min you release enough whey and give the curd enough body to make a softer feta, not as soft as Chevre though. I am not sure about hang time, I drain mine in Feta baskets overnight flipping every so often. In the morning I salt both sides of the wheels and cure at room temp salting once a day for a few days. The outside of the cheese becomes firm but the inside stays soft. I've come to find out that once they go into the brine they will eventually attain the texture of regular Feta.

    Christy
     
  19. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    yup- it was soft before brine-that's what changed it the most.
    sounds like hand salting will preserve the softer texture.
    Thanks for that run down on process.
    L