I have been planning to give cheese making a go, so when our lovely Australian friend Bindi was here recently, we decided we would just do it.
The recipe we used is called Home-Made Haloumi from the Simple Pleasures Cookbook by +Annabel Langbein.
|Annabel Langbein's recipes are interesting and home-cook friendly|
The recipe is not as complicated as it first looks, and if it's made regularly would be a doddle.
You will need a 30cmx20cm cheese mould and a thermometer. I didn't have a cheese mould - which is a vessel with holes in the bottom, so used a steamer with a bowl and weight on top to press the cheese. It worked perfectly well, but just wasn't so beautifully shaped. Some people use a punctured ice cream container.
This recipe uses 8 litres of milk, but to trial it we made 1/3 of the recipe, and it worked great.
|Haloumi is best fried or grilled|
First you need to sterilize your equipment, using a chlorine tablet (as you would use for nappies). We just used boiling water. So that is a 12 litre pot, a 20 litre pot, a large whisk, a cheese mould, muslin, a rack.
8 litres of unhomogenised full-cream milk
2 tsp rennet
4 tsp boiled and cooled tap water or bottled water
a little salt for sprinkling, plus 1/4 cup extra for brine
Put milk in the smaller pot and put this pot inside the larger one. Pour water into the large pot up to the same level as the milk in the smaller pot. Heat over a medium heat until the milk reaches 29 degrees celcius (and let me warn you this does not take long), then turn off the heat - it will reach the desired temperature of 32 degrees celcius with the residual heat.
Stir rennet into the 4 tsp boiled and cooled water. Whisk into heated milk.
Leave to stand for 45 minutes - it will hold at this temperature and you should not need to heat it. It will separate into curds (solids) and whey (liquid).
Cut the curds into 1cm cubes in a crisscross fashion then at 45 degree angles in two directions through the middle.
Return to the heat (still in the water bath), stirring gently until the temperature reaches 36 degrees celcius. The curds and whey will further separate. Remove from the heat and stand it for 5 minutes.
Drain through muslin, reserving the whey. Line the mould with muslin and place over a draining rack. Transfer curds to the mould. Fold in the muslin, put a lid on the mould and weigh it down with a container of water or similar for at least 1 hour.
Remove cheese from the mould and cut into 8 pieces. Bring the whey to 85 - 90 degrees celcius then add the cheese in batches of 4 pieces, cooking 15 minutes without stirring. When ready it will spring back like a sponge. Lift out and place on the rack over a draining tray.
Sprinkle both sides with a little salt and fold each piece in half.
Make brine with 4 cups of water, 2 cups of reserved whey and 1/4 cup salt. Store haloumi in brine in the fridge for up to a month. It can be eaten the same day but improves after 24 hours. If it goes slimy, rinse it off and replace the brine with fresh brine.
What I like about this, apart from the superb haloumi, is that the whey (or buttermilk) isn't wasted. It can be added to smoothies or baking.
Next cheese I'm going to try making is 30 minute mozzarella.