Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How To Make Akkawi Cheese

Today i will be sharing with you how to make one of the most popular cheeses in Lebanon. Akkawi is fairly easy and tasty. Try it in a pita sandwich with come watermelon on the side and it is a guaranteed winner!

The steps are basically the same as that of Halloum but much less work hehe:

You need:

- Fresh Milk (10 L), raw or pasteurized.
- Vinegar  ( 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 (you need one cup for every 6 cups water).

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 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.
7- The mixture should now contain whey which is clearly visible between the pieces. Mix it up a little and set aside for around 10 mins.
8- 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.
9- Carefully remove the curd and place them in a cotton cheese cloth (same as the one used for labne).
10 - Wrap the curd in the cloth around 5 cm thick and make it cube shaped.
11 - Set the weight on the curd in the cloth.
12- Add cheese to brine which can be prepared by mixing 1L of water with half a cup of salt.
13- After 24 hours, rinse the cheese with some water and munch away!

Cheese must be kept in the fridge and lasts up to two weeks.