Halloumi originates from the island of Cyprus and tends to be a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese. It is unique for having a high melting point which means it can be easily grilled or fried- perfect for summer cookouts! What makes it better is because it doesn’t melt, it keeps its texture and shape, keeping the incredible flavor and soft insides.
Although Halloumi has been around for a long time, it is particularly getting more popular over in the western countries because there has been a rise in vegetarians, it acts as a delicious meat substitute.
This cheese is traditionally made with ewe’s milk and added cow’s milk, but it is perfectly fine to make it with just 100% cow’s milk since that is more readily available. You can even substitute the milk for your own desired type. In this recipe though, 1 gallon of cow’s milk will be used for a trial run to see if you enjoy the cheese, ingredients can easily be adjusted to fit the amount of milk you would like to use.
What You Need
1 Gallon of Milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1/4 Tsp Single Strength Liquid Rennet (1/8 tsp for raw milk)
1 Pack C21 Buttermilk Culture or 1/4 tsp MA4002 (no culture for raw milk)
3/8 Tsp Calcium Chloride for Pasteurized Milk
1/8 Tsp Citric Acid (for Whey Ricotta)
1/2 oz Salt
Knife to cut curds
Ladle or spoon to stir curds
What To Do
1. To begin, place your milk in a pot and heat it to around 88 degrees F. Be sure to hear slowly and stir well if heating on a stove.
Once your milk has reached the desired temperature, add the culture. The culture will be destroyed by the milk and the curds will become higher in temperature. However, they will provide special enzymes for ripening if the cheese is preserved for a short period of time.
Also, if you are adding calcium chloride or lipase, add them in this step and stir to incorporate it well into the milk.
2. Now, add the liquid rennet to a diluted 1/4 cup of water. This will begin the coagulation process. It will take approximately 30-40 minutes for total coagulation but you will notice the milk begins to thicken within 20 minutes.
3. The curds can now be cut to .75- 1.5 inch squared in a vertical manner. Then allow to stand for 5 minutes to heal and then using your ladle, cut horizontally into even sized cubes.
4. Time to cook the curds and remove the whey. Stir gently, increasing the heat slowly to 100 degrees F during 20-30 minutes.
Keep this temperature for another 20-30 minutes while stirring every 3-5 minutes.
Once that time period is over, allow the curds to settle for 5 minutes under the whey.
Cooking the cheese in hot whey is very important for the making of Halloumi, so beginning to filter off the whey from the curds is the next step. You can do this with a sanitized colander and just scoop the whey out with a ladle, cup or bowl.
Now that the whey has been separated, slowly heat the whey to 195 degrees F, without letting it boil.
5. The curds which are dry can be transferred to their form from draining. Light pressure from your hands will help the consolidation of curd and make more than 1 form, they can be stacked and reversed for a little weight.
You can allow the curds to rest with a little weight, stalking them in forms. Make sure you turn them at 20-minute intervals to form a well-consolidated cheese.
6. After the whey has been heated, it is time to give the Halloumi its true form by heating the whey for 30-40 more minutes, keeping it at a temperature of 195 degrees F for the time it takes to cook all the pieces of Halloumi. Use a ladle to keep the cheese off the bottom of the heating pot and then lower it into the whey. At first, the cheese will float to the bottom, but as it cooks, it will eventually float to the surface.
Once it floats, that means it is ready to be removed. Cool the cheese for a few seconds in cold water and then lay it on a draining mat to cool and drain a bit more.
7. While you are cooling the cheese, and it is still warm, flatten with your hand to form a larger, flatter disc of cheese.
Now finish it off by sprinkling the cheese with salt and folding it into a crescent and pressing slightly as it cools.
8. Now your cheese is done, after a 3-5 day process. You can keep it refrigerated if it is lightly salted. If you are wanting to store it more traditionally, at room temperature, the higher amount of salt will keep it well for several days.