Date Posted:30 June 2018
This cheese is the king of the BBQ at my home. With an unusual, almost rubbery texture, this dry cheese has the ability to be cooked without melting, making it an excellent choice to BBQ, grill, bake or fry. It is a very salty cheese, so if you are going to add it to your mushroom and steak burger, don’t add salt.
8 litres full cream milk
¼ teaspoon of calcium chloride diluted in ¼ cup non-chlorinated water
Mesophilic hard curd cheese starter culture (see the packet for the amount to add)
½ tablet of rennet or ½ teaspoon of liquid rennet diluted in ¼ cup of non-chlorinated water
¼ cup of cheese salt
450 grams cheese salt for brine solution
2 litres of cold non-chlorinated water for brine solution
Stainless steel pot to place your milk in
A second, larger pot to place your first pot in, to act as a water jacket, so you can indirectly heat your milk
Stainless steel perforated spoon
Stainless steel curd knife
Stainless steel ladle
Several loose weave cheese making cloths
Large stainless steel or enamel colander
Cheese mould or basket and follower
Wooden cheese board or cheese mat
Cheese wax and brush or vacuum sealer
Place your milk into a large stainless steel pot and then place this pot into your second, larger pot with water in it to act as a water jacket. Add your calcium chloride and mix in well.
Using indirect heat, slowly heat your milk to 30°C. Add your starter culture and stirring gently, mix in well.
Add your rennet solution to the milk and stir in gently, using an up and down motion for one minute, ensuring that the rennet is evenly distributed throughout the milk. Cover and allow to rest undisturbed for 45 minutes, while maintaining the temperature at 30°C.
Check for a clean break. If the curd is not firm enough leave for another five minutes and check again. Be patient and wait for a clean break. Once the curd is firm enough and gives a clean break, cut the curd into one and a half centimetre cubes.
Again using indirect heat, gradually increase the temperature to 40°C. This should be at a rate of about one degree every five minutes, for a total of approximately 50 minutes. Stir every few minutes during the heating process and to prevent the curds from matting together.
Once the curds and whey have reached 40°C, continue stirring occasionally for an additional 15 minutes.
Gently ladle the curds and whey into a colander lined with your loose weave cheese making cloth, being sure to catch the whey in a pot for later use. Allow the curds to drain for several minutes, or until the whey ceases to run freely.
Lift the curds in the cloth out of the colander and place them, still in the cloth, into the cheese basket. Pull up the sides of the cloth, to avoid any wrinkles, and fold the cloth carefully over the top of the curds. Place the follower on top of the covered curds.
Press your curds for one hour at 14 kg.
Remove the cheese from the basket, carefully peel away the cloth, turn the cheese over, redress with cloth and return it to the basket. Press again for 30 minutes at 22 kg.
Remove the cheese again from the basket and remove the cloth, being careful not to tear the surface of the cheese. Cut your cheese into 7cm cubes.
Using the whey you saved earlier, heat it to 80°C to 90°C. Place your cubes of cheese into the hot whey to soak for one hour.
Remove the cubes from the hot whey and place them back into the colander to drain and cool for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle your ¼ cup of cheese salt onto the cheese, while it is still in the colander, and leave it for a further three hours.
Place your cheese into a brine bath in the refrigerator to soak. This cheese can be eaten right away or kept in the brine for up to 60 days. The flavour will continue to develop and become stronger with time.
This recipe is from Home Cheese Making in Australia by Valerie Pearson, now in its Second Edition. To get your hands on a copy of this book or to purchase any cheese making ingredients or equipment, please go to our website or call our helpline on 07 3808 5276 Mon-Sat, 9:00AM – 4:30PM.
*Image 'Grilled Halloumi & Tabbouleh' by Stijn Nieuwendijk on Flickr.