1 gallon/4.7l of milk
1/4tsp Liquid Rennet mixed in 1/4c of cool water
Dried mint (optional)
1. Begin by heating the milk to 86-88°F (30-31°C). You do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this in a pot on the stove, make sure you heat the milk slowly and stir it well as it heats.
2. Once the milk is at your target temperature, add lipase and/or calcium chloride.
3. Add 1/4tsp of liquid rennet diluted in 1/4 cup of water. Stir in rennet using up and down motions and leave to coagulate for 30-40 minutes.
4. Once there is a clean break, cut the curds. Leave for 5 minutes to set.
5. Stir gently, increasing the heat slowly to 100-106°F (38–40°C) during 20 to 30 minutes (higher temp for a drier cheese). Keep at this temp for 20 minutes.
6. Filter off the whey from the curds until you can see the curds below. I do this using a sanitized colander and just scooping the whey out with another ladle, bowl, or cup into a pan to save it for cooking the curds.
7. The dry curds can now be transferred to their form for draining. A light hand pressure will help the consolidation of curd and, if making more than 1 form, they can be stacked and reversed for a little weight.
8. While the whey is heating, the curds may continue to rest with a little weight. Either stacking of the forms or a 500g weight for a single cheese will do. Make sure you turn them at 15-20 minute intervals to form a well consolidated cheese.
9. It’s now time to give the Halloumi its true character by heating it in the whey for 30-40 minutes. Keep the whey temp at 190F/90C for the time it takes to cook all of the pieces of Halloumi. Using a ladle or basket to keep the cheese off of the bottom of the heating pot (to prevent sticking), lower the cheese into the whey. The cheese will initially sink to the bottom but as the cheese cooks, it will eventually float to the surface.
10. When the cheese floats, it is ready to be removed. I cool the cheese for a few seconds in cold water and then lay it on a draining mat to drain and cool a bit more.
11. Sprinkle salt over one side of the cheese disc. Add the dried mint at this stage if desired.
12. Cover and refrigerate. Use in 3-5 days.
If your halloumi isn’t as firm as you like, try adding 3/8tsp Calcium Chloride in your next batch.