or approximately 2 pounds /1 kilo of feta
- 5 quarts fresh unpasteurized sheep’s milk, or 3 quarts sheep’s milk and 2 quarts fresh, unpasteurized goat’s milk, strained through a fine-mesh sieve
- 1/3 teaspoon organic dry calf rennet powder available online
- ¼ cup plus 1 quart water
- 20 grams coarse salt
In a very clean, large stainless steel pot, heat the milk to 162F/72C. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the milk cool to 95F/35C.
Dilute the rennet in the quarter cup of water. Let it stand for five minutes then add to the milk, swirling it around a few times with a very clean stainless steel spoon. Cover and let stand for about 1 to 4 hours, depending on how hot the ambient room temperature is, untl the milk coagulates into a loose mass that looks very similar to Greek yogurt.
Reheat over very gentle heat, and, using a very clean stainless steel knife criss-cross through the loose cheese mass to form dice-like squares. After a few minutes of gentle heat, the whey will rise to the top.
Line a clean strainer with a cheese cloth. Using a slotted spoon, strain out the loose cheese mass that looks like yogurt and place each spoonful in the cheesecloth. Continue until all the cheese mass has been strained out. Discard the whey.* Tie up the ends of the cheese cloth to look like a large pouch and hang this somewhere safe to drain, i.e. over an outdoor sink or in the bathtub. Drain the cheese for 24 to 36 hours, or until firm but pliant, almost like a mozzarella in consistency and texture.
Prepare the salt brine: In a mixing bowl, dissolve the coarse salt into 1 quart of water. Cut the firmed up cheese mass into 4 thick pieces or wedges. Place the pieces in a mason jar or other receptacle large enough to hold it, and pour the salt brine on top. Close or seal and refrigerate for at least 1 week or up to 3 months. Remove, cut and serve.
Note: If the feta acquires a mucuous-like or moldy surface in places, simply wash it well before serving.