I have been starting to make cheese recently and thoroughly enjoying it. I am particularly happy about Haloumi which I came to love when living in Marrickville but it is very hard to by good quality Haloumi here and it can also be very expensive. I was so happy to find that it’s actually really easy to make and after some trial and error and testing a few recipes I found a great one which I have adapted to work for me. http://wholesome-cook.com/2012/07/18/homemade-haloumi-cheese-in-an-hour/ she also has mouth watering photos of her cheese!
- 1 litre unhomogenised (organic) cow’s milk
- 1 litre goat’s milk (I just used 2 litres raw cows milk)
- 1 rennet tablet
- 1 tbsp water
- ½ tbsp dried Italian herbs (optional)
- ¼ tbsp chilli flakes, or to taste (optional)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 cup of the leftover whey
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp salt
- Place milk into a large saucepan. Dissolve rennet tablet in 1 tablespoon water.
- Heat milk over slow heat until it reaches 32°-35°C // 89.5°F – 95°F. Remove from heat immediately and add dissolved rennet.. (note if you get distracted and let milk overheat you MUST wait for it to cool to correct temp before adding rennet)
- Stir for a few seconds then set aside for 30 minutes in a warm place. The milk should set and become jelly like.
- Once the milk has set, cut it up roughly using a wooden spoon using a up/down movement) and mix to separate the whey.
- Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl, add chilli and herbs and allow to stand for another 10 minutes.
- Place the bowl in a microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes. Stir the mixture around and heat on high for another 2 minutes.
- Test the curds with your fingers – they should be elastic and slightly firm. If still very soft, stir and heat on high for 2 more minute.
- Once heated, spread gazue over a large fine sieve set over a large bowl.
- Strain the curds and whey, reserving 1 cup of whey for the brine.
- Sprinkle salt over the curds, mix and start pressing the cheese to remove excess whey.
- Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze extra whey.
- Combine all brine ingredients and mix well.
- Press haloumi cheese into a rectangular container and place in the fridge to cool (or into the freezer for 15 minutes if you’re more rushed).
- Once cooled, transfer haloumi to a larger container and cover with brine.
- Store in the fridge and consume within a couple of days.
If you prefer without brine you can just salt and wrap the cheese it can also be frozen.
With the left over whey you can make ricotta which I love as I hate food waste just return whey to stove add 3 cups milk heat to 88 degrees celcius take off and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) wait 20 mins then plop in muslin/cheese cloth tie up into a bag and hang over the sink to drain.
alternatively you can just use 1 litre of milk heat until almost boiling add vinegar/lemon juice and get the same result now you know how easy it is give it a try!
So far I have only been making simple rennet based cheeses but I have now ordered some cheese cultures and am looking forward to experimenting with aged cheeses.