How to Make Halloumi-Style Cheese at Home

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I don’t know many people who don’t love cheese, though perhaps not many who love it as much as I do!

The obvious step for keen cooks who also love cheese is to try and make it at home.

To that end, Pete and I recently attended a fantastic cheesemaking class by Wildes Cheese, and Pete has recently reviewed Paul Thomas’ book Home-Made Cheese: Artisan Cheesemaking Made Simple. Go check out the review and enter the giveaway to win a copy now!

In the meantime, here’s Paul Thomas’ recipe for Halloumi-style cheese, which is the first recipe Pete tried from the book.

homemade halloumi collage

Pete’s homemade halloumi cheese

5 from 1 vote

Halloumi-style Cheese

Ingredients

  • 11.4 l whole milk
  • 0.4 units thermophilic starter culture – STB-01 / STAM-3 or similar
  • 3 ml rennet of 1:10000 strength
  • 3-4 % w/w salt
  • 2 tsp dried mint

Recipe Notes

When Pete made this recipe, he left out the starter culture completely, as the cheese is a fresh one that doesn’t need to be aged. He also scaled down to use just one litre of milk, instead of 11.4 litres and left out the mint too!

Instructions

  • Pour the milk into the pan and gently heat it to 34C. stirring continuously with a wooden or metal spoon.

  • Weight out and add the starter, if using pasteurized milk, and stir it in briefly.

  • Remove from the heat. Measure the rennet and stir for 1 minute, then leave for 45 minutes. The first signs of coagulation should be seen after 15 minutes, but leave the curd for 30 minutes more.

  • Cut the curd 45 minutes after renneting. Using a knife, make several parallel cuts spaces 2cm apart. Make a second series of cuts of the same spacing but at 90 degrees to the first.

  • To perform the final cut, start stirring gently with a balloon whisk, breaking the columns of curd down as evenly as is possible to around 1cm cubes.

  • Raise the temperature to 40C over the course of about half an hour, stirring gently to keep the curds moving.

  • Check the temperature of the curds frequently during this time. They should start to firm up and, if the stirring carried out carefully, the whey should remain a greenish-yellow colour. Do not discard the whey at this point – it will be used to scald the blocks of curd.

  • Cease stirring; the curd should sink to the bottom of the pan.

  • Line a sieve with cheesecloth, place it over a second pan and strain the curd and why through it.

  • Gather up three corners of the cloth and tie the fourth one once around them, in a ‘Stilton Knot’.

  • Press the bag of curd between two boards with a weight placed on top and leave to drain in a tray for 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the whey. Heat the pan of whey up to 90C. Whey proteins will rise to the surface, forming anari – a ricotta-type cheese that may be skimmed off, moulded and draining in much the same way.

  • Once the curds have stopped rising, the whey is ready to use.

  • Rehydrate and sterilize the dried mint by steeping it in a cup of the hot whey for 5 minutes. Strain off the liquid and set aside the rehydrated mint.

  • Untie the Stilton Knot and remove the cloth from the parcel of draining curd.

  • Using a sharp knife, cut the block into sections 2-3cm thick and immerse them in the hot whey for half and hour. The curd blocks should become firmer, taking on the texture of cooked chicken breast fillet and should rise to the surface of the whey.

  • Carefully remove the blocks from the whey using a slotted spoon.

  • Weigh the cheese and calculate how much salt is required, then rub this on the surfaces of the cheeses.

  • Sprinkle some of the reserved rehydrated mint on the face of each cheese block, then fold them in half to secure the seam of mint running through the cores.

  • Transfer the cheeses to a small lidded container and leave them to cool in the refrigerator overnight. The halloumi can be enjoyed immediately or should be stored in a refrigerator in a lidded contained and used within a week.

  • To prepare the halloumi for the table, slice the cheese perpendicular to the seam of mint and grill, broil or pan-fry for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Serve with some fresh lemon juice to squeeze over, if you like.

T160

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Home-Made Cheese: Artisan Cheesemaking Made Simple by Paul Thomas (RRP £14.99) from publisher Lorenz Books.

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52 Comments to "How to Make Halloumi-Style Cheese at Home"

  1. Jane Willis

    I tried making halloumi from a kit I was sent, in fact I’ve made it several times. I found the whole cheese making process fascinating, the only trouble is it’s impossible to make small quantities and even for cheese monsters like us, we ended up getting bored with halloumi after eating practically nothing else for a week! But I’m very glad I tried it, I understand much better what goes into the cheeses I buy now (and what, when I read the labels, ought not to be there!)

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Pete made the small quantity shown in the photo – that was the total amount he made! 🙂

    Reply
  2. kaveyeats

    Definitely give it a go, check our notes of our changes, and enjoy the halloumi-style cheese!

    Reply
  3. kaveyeats

    Hell yes, home made cheese for the win! But all bowing must be to Pete not me, as he did the making!!

    Reply
  4. kaveyeats

    Yeah, Pete wasn’t sure how well it would scale down but it worked perfectly!

    Reply
  5. Lisa Feinson

    For 11.4 lites of milk, how would you scale down the rennet? [asks the complete math dunderhead]
    Unless I just make a LOT of halloumi…hmmm…
    It looks utterly gorgeous!

    Reply
    Kavey

    He used just a drop or two… 3 ml is just over half a teaspoon so dividing it exactly by 11 is impossible but it turned out ok on his estimate, even though was probably a touch over if anything!!

    Reply
  6. Heidi Roberts

    I love the freshness of halloumi cheese – have you ever had it with chilli? That squeeky noise it makes when you eat it always makes me chuckle!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I’m not a fan of chilli so I haven’t but yes love the squeakiness!

    Reply
  7. kaveyeats

    (We’ve found the recipes that try and simplify too much just don’t work!)

    Reply
  8. Elizabeth

    Your photographs have my mouth watering! My husband bought me a cheese making kit for Christmas which I’m going to try out soon. I need to make cheese curds for poutine for Canada Day! 😀

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh yes, well halloumi reminds me a lot of those curds, as they are fabulously squeaky too!!

    Reply
  9. Natalie

    Such a great idea to try and make homemade cheese. Although I’m a huge cheese fan I never tried making my own cheese. I might just do it. This sounds so easy. And looks delicious!

    Reply
  10. kaveyeats

    Yeah, why Pete scaled it down but I’ve told him not to scale it down quite as much next time!

    Reply
  11. kaveyeats

    It’s much like good quality cheese made in traditional ways rather than the cheapest large producer where they sacrifice taste of texture for price. If you buy good quality cheese, then it’s similar. Of course you can adjust saltiness etc yourself and control sourcing of ingredients.

    Reply
  12. Lucy

    I can just imagine the amount of cheese if you used eleven litres of milk! Pete’s batch looks just the right amount so you don’t get too bored of it. Excellent results. Would love to try this one day!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yeah would be quite a bit, I’ll ask him to make a third or so of the full amount next time I think!

    Reply
  13. debi at Life Currents

    I knew you could make your own mozzarella and ricotta, but I didn’t know you could make Halloumi at home. I love this idea. And, you’re right, everyone loves cheese! I’ll have to try this. I had store-bought Halloumi once, and loved the salty flavor!

    Reply
  14. kaveyeats

    I’m pretty sure you can buy this Inn the supermarkets, certainly in ones here, if not it’s definitely available online. ❤️

    Reply

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