Beyaz Peynir (feta cheese)

feta cheese.jpg

I can’t believe I am 46 (nearly 47) and I have only just made beyaz peynir (feta cheese). I have been wanting to make it for a while, but the need for a starter culture always kind of put me off.

I bought a mesophilic cheese starter off the internet – as you do – and promptly put the instructions as to how to get it going, what amount to use and how to keep it alive in a very safe place. A place so safe that I now can’t find them.

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Not to be deterred I found some instructions online to get it going, decided to guess on the appropriate amounts to use and worry about keeping the starter alive in the future.

I used this cheese recipe (see here) because it had the title super easy feta cheese and didn’t use lipase powder – which I don’t have any of.

No photos of the procedure because that would be stretching my talents too far. It wasn’t difficult. In fact it was ridiculously easy – easier than halloumi. The starter helps with curd formation, texture and flavour.cheese in oil2.jpg

Beyaz Peynir: 4 litres raw milk; 1/4 cup of made up mesophilic culture; 1/4 cup water; 20 drops vegetable rennet; salt; olive oil; oregano.

Heat milk to 88F add starter and stir. Put the rennet into the cup of water and add to the milk and stir. Cover, wrap a towel round the pan (to keep the warmth in) and leave for 2 hours.

Cut the curds, then gently stir for 10 minutes. Leave for 15 minutes and then stir again for 5-10 minutes. Drain the curds from the whey for 8-10 hours. I poured it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. It might work better hung up, but I couldn’t find anywhere to hang it.

After the required draining time cut the cheese into chunks. I matured it i two different ways.

Most of it I layered in a jar with salt and oregano and then filled up the jar with olive oil.

With the leftover cheese I just layered it in a bowl with salt and left that in the fridge for a few days.

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So which do I prefer – the cheese I simply matured with salt in a bowl. Everytime I open the fridge I eat some. It has a brilliant flavour and great texture. Being able to make cheese this good has motivated me to move onto hard cheeses

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The cheese preserved in the oil, is really good and will be great for cooking and for smearing on toast. I think it might keep for longer this way as well.

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Next time I will matured and keep it in a brine and see how this works out. Oh don’t throw out the whey. I made some ricotta with it. I heated it up to nearly boiling, added some vinegar and then strained it. The left-over, left-over whey I feed to the dog for his dinner – yum yum.

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N.B. Why have I suddenly started to up my cheese game? Well with any luck sometime early next summer we will have lot of our own lovely goats milk and I will need to do something with it.

N.B. I also made yoghurt with the starter – it was good, but I am not sure I drained it sufficiently as I prefer a thicker yoghurt.



One response to “Beyaz Peynir (feta cheese)

  1. Pingback: Hot Fermented Chilli Sauce | smallholding dreams·

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