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Home Made Halloumi Cheese

My cheese workshops are rapidly becoming the most popular out of all the classes, last weekend we made Halloumi and Ricotta cheese. I think everyone is so amazed how easy it is to actually make soft cheeses and fascinated by the process of turning milk into curds and whey. We always have a lot of whey left after these events, as you can imagine from a class of 6 making their own produce. Luckily living rurally there are a few people who take it for their chickens and the rest I dilute and put it on my herb garden, which in these dry months it has been a blessing since we are on tank water not mains.

I make a salad with mine using the ingredients you can see in the photo and adding the dressing from the previous post on cauliflower salad.

Ingredients for making halloumi _ approx 300g

  • 2 ltr pasturised full cream milk (A2, Meadowfresh)
  • ½ tsp rennet (Renco), mixed with ½ tsp water
  • Salt

Method

  1. In a large stainless steel saucepan heat the milk to 32C, using a thermometer.
  2. Add the rennet when milk has reached 32C
  3. Allow the milk to sit, covered with a cloth in a warm place for 20 minutes or until a firm curd has formed.
  4. When the the curds are formed cut into 1 inch squares. If the pot is deep also cut across with a slotted spoon.
  5. Rest for 5 minutes, then heat the pan to 35-38C and stir gently with your hand or spoon for 20 minutes, keeping the temperature constant.
  6. The squares should look smooth and lightly elastic.
  7. Lift the curd out of the pan with a slotted spoon and place into a colander lined with cheese cloth or gauze
  8. Cover with more cloth and place a weight on top.
  9. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  10. Now cut the Halloumi cheese into pieces.
  11. Reheat the whey to 85-90C, then turn heat off and add the halloumi pieces to the whey.
  12. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. The cheese will rise to the surface.
  13. Take the cheese slices out, add a pinch of salt on each side.
  14. Make a brine with 50% leftover whey, 50% boiling water and 10% salt.
  15. The halloumi will keep up to two weeks in the brine, in the fridge.
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56 Comments Post a comment
  1. OMG! this is sooo cool! thanks for sharing the method for making Halloumi! it’s so difficult to find it in stores here… this is fantastic! :))

    April 23, 2010
  2. the only cheese ive made at home is indian paneer (using milk and vinegar). i LOVE halloumi and im so happy to see this post! is it possible to make this cheese without rennet?

    April 24, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      You do need a rennet to make halloumi to create the curds and whey which is different to making paneer and ricotta, the good news is you can buy vegetarian rennet. Check online to see who is selling it in your region.

      April 25, 2010
    • sue #

      I read somewhere you can also use lemon juice. I am going to try this with lemon juice this afternoon.

      February 10, 2012
      • peasepudding #

        I have only ever used a rennet to get curds and whey, I would imagine with lemon juice it would me more like a paneer

        February 10, 2012
  3. awesome post! love it! Haloumi at home!

    April 24, 2010
  4. i love haloumi but also am curious if you can make it without using rennet.

    April 25, 2010
  5. we love halloumi. any finely crafted cheese really. during a trip home to Wisconsin we bought rennet tablets and made our own mozzarella. it was incredible. i think we might have to try this, too.

    cheers,

    *heather*

    April 25, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Heather, how many rennet tablets did you use per liters of milk when you made mozzarella? Perhaps you can help the previous question that was posted as it would be the same amount of tablets for halloumi. Thanks, Alli

      April 25, 2010
  6. Great post. Although I have a good understanding of the cheese making process I had no idea what gave halloumi its squeaky mouth feel.

    April 25, 2010
  7. I am so making this. Got a question. I have only rennet (junket) tablets. Will they work? If yes, what quantity should I use for 1/2 tsp rennet! Many thanks from another passionate soft cheese maker!

    April 25, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Yes it will work with tablets you just need to check the strength of them as I am unsure if they are stronger or weaker than the liquid. I have checked my rennet instructions and to make junket you need 6ooml of milk to 1 teaspoon of rennet. What does your tablets say? For instance if you use 1 tablet to 600ml milk to make junket than it sounds like the strengths are the same (1 tablet to on teaspoon). Hope this helps and if you let me know your junket ratio I will try and work it out for you. Thanks, Alli

      April 25, 2010
  8. What a great recipe! I love halloumi cheese – it would be so great to make. I need to stop procrastinating and order rennet online.
    One question: you mention vinegar in your ingredients, but it does not appear later on the cooking directions. When do we add it?
    Thanks so much – I really love your site. I wish I were in New Zealand to attend your cheese making class. One day :-)….

    April 25, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Hi, thanks for spotting that, in my rush to go on holiday I overlooked the vinegar! There is no vinegar in the making of halloumi cheese, I have amended the recipe. In the class we made ricotta & halloumi since ricotta is meant to be a byproduct of the whey after removing all the curds by adding vinegar. I can’t say I have ever been successful creating in producing much ricotta from the whey and prefer to make it from like directly which produces more. I will try and get around to posting the ricotta recipe too, it’s so easy with just milk & vinegar.

      April 25, 2010
      • missy-boo #

        dad has been making different cheese for years. best riccotta made with lemon juice

        March 14, 2012
  9. Wow, this is such great information. I live in China and we can’t get fresh cheese, but I do have a little bottle of rennet I brought from home (it’s a vegetarian liquid rennet from Whole Foods). I will have to try this recipe!

    April 25, 2010
  10. That looks so good! Halloumi is one of my favourite cheeses, especially on a salad or in a wrap.
    I’ve made my own mascarpone, but never think that other cheeses, like halloumi, would be easy enough to do myself. This is very tempting!

    April 25, 2010
  11. Thanks Alli… didn’t realise you were ‘so into cheese’ , just like me! Going down the pages can see loads of cheesy recipes!! YAY! Thanks for the answer to my question. Will dig out the poor forgotten junket & check the strength. I discarded them after a mozarella disaster! Have you ever tried that one?

    April 26, 2010
  12. mistercheers #

    Hi

    Lovely post. Nice to have halloumi after a very long time.

    I have a question though that no one has yet been able to help me with and i have myself not been able to find anything on the web related to the following. I am looking for a recipe for Akkawi cheese. Can you pleeeeeease help me out here? Would really appreciate it. Thanks.

    April 26, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      I’m sorry I have to confess I have never heard of Akkawi cheese! Is it crumbly or creamy? I also looked on the net but couldn’t find any recipes on how to make it. It sounds like it might have a similar process to feta, soaking in brine. Anyone reading this post who knows anything about Akkawi cheese please let us know. Alli

      April 27, 2010
  13. halloumi is one of my favourite cheese!!! Thanks for the recipe. Your halloumi looks awesome!

    April 26, 2010
  14. I’ve never really even thought about bothering with making my own cheese, there must be a good reason why people do it, tastes better I guess? Maybe I will try it

    April 26, 2010
  15. spiceandmore #

    wow that haloumi looks fab. I love haloumi…pan fried with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chopped parsley…yum! I must try making it. I guess I have to order rennet online (as per someone else’s comment)?

    April 28, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      You can buy it in some supermarkets, it is usually near the ‘set’ pudding mixes because it is also used to make junket. I know overseas they also sell junket tablets which would work also.

      April 28, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      I’m sure you would be able to get it in the Woolworths supermarket in Aussie, they sell it at Countdown here, usually in the milk pudding/fruit pulp isle.

      May 3, 2010
  16. Alex #

    Hi, I’ve just tried this recipe and run into a problem. I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

    I heated my half galon of milk (aprox 1.9 L) in an enamled cast iron pot to 32c, and mixed in half a Junket tablet disolved in a small ammount of cold water. My kitchen is warm today, so the pot has stayed at a constant tempature, and yet, 3 hours later, nothing has set up. It’s still as thin as milk.

    I’m in the US, and using organic homogonized cows milk, Junket Rennet tablets (which have no expiration date?) and this is my first time making a rennet cheese.

    The box suggests a quater tablet should coagulate a galon of milk. I’m suspecting that either my milk isn’t as acidic as it should be for some reason, or the rennet is old. I’ve also seen several suggestions online that the tablets should be shelf stable for several years.

    Any suggestions appreciated, thanks!

    May 2, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Hi, I believe the problem is that you were using homogenised milk and not pasturised milk or fresh milk from the farmer. I only recommend pasturised or fresh as it is what I was taught at cheese making school. Homogenisation involves a process that reduces the size of the fat globules into miniscule portions dispersing them evenly throughout the milk so I think this makes it difficult to produce a curd.

      I don’t think the rennet will be the issue and you have your tempurature right, can you try using full cream pasturised? Make half the amount as a test for the rennet? I really feel that should solve the problem. Let me know how you go. Alli

      May 3, 2010
      • Alex #

        Hi again. I did try making cheese again and it was a success. I went with a mozzarella recipe, but will be trying this recipe next weekend.

        In the US its very hard to find non-homogonized milk, and in some states it’s actually illegal to sell raw milk. (I know, we’re crazy) I think the problem was the Junket brand rennet tablets, as they’re for making rennet custard, not explicitly cheese. Some have gotten those tablets to work, but I wouldn’t recommend them.

        Thanks for this post, as an inspiration for a new delicious hobby!

        June 14, 2010
      • peasepudding #

        Hi, I’m glad you tried making cheese again and I hope you have much fun and success with the mozzarella! I have never used the rennet tablets but only the rennet liquid which is also used to make junket/custard here in NZ, or used to but is not o popular anymore. We also have more homogenised milk here but we also have easier access to farm bought fresh milk.

        June 18, 2010
  17. Great recipe, enjoyed reading it. Would you miind if I referenced it on my cheese blog?

    Thanks, Iona, Ribblesdale Cheese, North Yorkshire, UK

    http://ribblesdalecheese.wordpress.com

    July 4, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Iona, you are most welcome to reference back to my blog. Many thanks Alli

      July 4, 2010
  18. I discovered halloumi a few years ago as I moved to Cyprus, never heard of it before. But straight away I fell in love with that delicious cheese that is so versatile and gives its special note to so many dishes. Very often we try new halloumi recipes and there is not one week since then, that we won’t have at least one meal with halloumi, not to speak abou BBQs, where having halloumi is a must.

    August 24, 2010
    • peasepudding #

      Lucky you with all access to all that lovely halloumi, I would eat it every week too if I could make that much ;o)

      August 25, 2010
      • Yes, it really has some advantages, just think about having fresh pomegranate or figs in the own garden. :)

        August 25, 2010
  19. I still haven’t made my own cheese, but this looks really good. I would love to try it out.

    November 5, 2010
  20. I was so excited to come across this recipe! I love halloumi and if I could I think I might eat nothing else, but it’s so expensive to buy. I had no idea that it was such a simple process to make and will try this recipe soon! Thanks so much for the post.

    February 28, 2011
  21. Also, do you use liquid rennet or tablets? Does it make a difference? Thanks!

    February 28, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      I have only ever used liquid. The tablets will have a different strength so I suggest you go by the instructions on the tablet packet for ratio of tablet to milk. Good luck and let me know how it goes with tablets if you use them.

      February 28, 2011
      • I just used 1 junket tablet to make this out of 2 litres of milk the other day (the strength was indicated by 1 tablet to 0.5L milk). I made my haloumi in a microwave in under 1 hour. It didn’t need the extra heating, just the initial step to 32C.

        July 18, 2012
  22. Novel67 #

    I have tried several making Halloumi recipes and each time, I find that thecurd forms, I cut it into 1 inch strips etc but when I heat it, it then just breaks up into thousands of little bits. It never seems to stay in the firm strips so I then have to strain it to make a big lump as it would be impossible to lift it from the pan in all those tiny bits. Do you have any idea what I’m doing wrong please!

    July 30, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      Hi Andrea, sorry to hear you aren’t having much luck with the cheese making. My first question is what milk are you using? After just being home to the UK Iast month I found it difficult to find milk that wasn’t ultra treated or homogenized. These two types of milk can produce what they call weak curds that crumble rather than stay in firm curds. Here is a great website that explains all types of milk in cheese making, some pics of weak curds too. I only ever use pasteurized and not ultra, my experience is nothing else works.
      Let me know how you get on, good luck
      Alli

      http://www.cheesemaking.com/MoreAboutMilk.html

      August 1, 2011
  23. tom bario #

    What would be the difference in the halloumi cheese if I use culture starters?
    Has anyone tried both methods and noticed any difference in taste or softness?
    Thank you!

    May 15, 2012

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