Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How To Make Halloum Cheese

As promised, i will be posting cheese making recipes for all those who share my passion!
Halloum will be the first, let's will be needing the below:
- Fresh Milk (10 L), raw or pasteurized.
- Vinegar or Lemon Juice ( 3 tablespoons)
- Cotton cheese cloth
- Something that weighs around 15kgs..sounds daunting i know but we suggest a pack of 2L water bottles.
- Water (1L)
- Salt (6gr)

And here are the steps:
1- Heat milk in pot to 60 degrees Celsius (if raw) and to 36 degrees if pasteurized.
2- If raw milk was used. Cool it to 36 degrees, a quick way to do that is to place pot in a tub of cold water.
3- Add vinegar or lemon juice and stir.
4- Leave aside for 0.5 hr.
5- To check if the mixture is ready stick a knife in the middle, it should come out clean. If residue sticks to the knife, leave mixture a while longer.
6- Cut mixture, which is now jello like, into 0.5 cm squares and set aside for 5-10 mins.The mixture should now contain whey which is clearly visible between the pieces. (as in image below). Mix it up a little and set aside for around 10mins.

7- The cheese has now sunk to the bottom of the pot, remove the whey and set in a bowl aside. Keep removing whey until u find the curd at the bottom.
8- Carefully remove the curd and place them in a cotton cheese cloth (same as the one used for labne).
9- Wrap the curd in the cloth around 5 cm thick and make it cube shaped.
10- Set the weight on the curd in the cloth.
11- Heat up the whey that was set aside a while ago to 90 degrees.
12- Remove the curd, which is now cheese, from the cloth and place in the hot water. Leave it until it rises to the top of the pot.
13- Place cheese pieces aside and wait for them to cool, meanwhile flipping them from side to side to help with the cooling.
14- Once the cheese cools a little bend it in half so it can have the Halloum famous look and try to place it in a tight box so that there would be pressure on the sides of the cheese. Or just cram it between 2 pieces of wood or whatever you have.
15- Add cheese to brine which can be prepared by mixing 1L of water with 20gr of salt.
16- After 24 hours, rinse the cheese with some water and VOILA!!

Congratulations! you have successfully made Halloum cheese which is actually one of the harder white cheeses to make but undoubtedly one of the best. Enjoy and feel free if you have any questions.