Halloumi or haloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, and sometimes also cow's milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. This property makes it a popular meat substitute.
- 8 litres full cream milk.
- 1/8 teaspoon calcium chloride, diluted in 1/4 cup non-chlorinated or demineralized water.
- One dose of Mesophilic Hard Curd Starter Culture
- 1/2 rennet tablet or 1/2 teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1/2 cup of demineralised or non-chlorinated water.
- 1/4 cup of cheese salt, for salting the cheese.
- 2 litres of brine made from 2 litres of cold non-chlorinated water and 450 grams of cheese salt.
- Large water jacket.
Two stainless steel stockpots with water in the large pot and milk in the small pot makes an effective water jacket, heating your milk indirectly.
- Cheese thermometer.
- Stainless steel slotted or perforated spoon.
- Long bladed stainless steel knife for cutting the curd.
- Several 90cm squares of butter muslin for making cheese.
- Large stainless steel of enamel colander.
- Cheese mould or basket and follower.
- Cheese press.
- Pour your milk into the "water jacket" and add your calcium chloride solution, mixing in well.
- Heat your milk to 30° C using indirect heat, and add one dose of mesophilic hard curd culture and mix in well.
- Add your rennet solution to the milk stirring for one minute in a gentle up and down motion, being sure that the rennet is evenly distributed throughout the milk.
- Allow to rest for 30 to 45 minutes or until you have achieved a clean break. If the curd is not firm enough, leave or another 5 minutes and check again.
- Once the curd is firm enough and gives a ‘clean break’, cut the curd into 1.5 centimetre cubes.
- Using indirect heat once again, slowly 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. Maintain at 40° for an additional 15 minutes. Stir every few minutes during the heating process and also while maintaining the temperature at 40° C, to prevent the curds from matting together.
- Ladle the curds into a colander lined with your cheesecloth, being sure to catch the whey in a pot for later use.
- Lift the curds while still in the cheesecloth and place them into a cheese basket or hoop. Fold the cloth over the top of the curds and then place your follower on top. Press your curds for one hour at 14 kg.
- Remove the cheese from the basket and carefully peel away the cloth. Turn your cheese over and redress it in a fresh cloth. Return the cheese to the Cheese press and press again for 30 minutes at 22 kg.
- Remove the cheese again from the basket and remove the cloth. Cut your cheese into 7cm cubes.
- Using the whey you saved earlier, heat it to 80 to 90 degrees. Place your cubes of cheese into the hot whey to soak for one hour.
- Place the cubes of cheese back into the colander to drain and cool for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle your 1/4 cup of cheese salt onto the cheese, while it is still in the colander, and leave it for a further 3 hours.
- Place your cheese into a brine bath in the refrigerator and soak for up to 60 days. This cheese can be eaten right away, but the flavour develops further with time.
Recipe © 2011 - Valerie Pearson
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