HALOUMI

YIELD: ± 450G HALOUMI
              100-225G ANARI (RICOTTA)
       
Haloumi is a semi-firm, brined cheese with a high melting point that is suitable for grilling and frying. Stuff haloumi with grilled or marinated vegetables, or add onto skewers before warming through – haloumi can also be served cold in a salad. 
    
INGREDIENTS:
4 1/2 litres full cream milk (not UHT)
1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride, diluted in 1/4 cup filtered water (if milk is homogenised)
1 teaspoon liquid rennet, diluted in 1/4 cup filtered water
1/8 teaspoon citric acid, diluted in 1/4 cup filtered water
2 teaspoons cheese salt (or sea salt flakes)
1 teaspoon mint leaves, dried or fresh (optional)
    
METHOD:
1. Sterilise equipment.
2. Whisk lipase solution (if using) and calcium chloride solution into 4 litres of milk.
3. Warm milk (indirectly) to 86°F (30°C).
4. Remove from heat.
5. Whisk rennet solution into the milk for 1 minute. Cove. Rest for 30-40 minutes.
6. Check for a clean break.
7a. Cut the curd into 3cm cubes vertically. Rest 5 minutes. Cut into 3cm cubes horizontally.
7b. Cook the curds by heating slowly to 100°F (38°C) over 20 minutes or so. Higher temperature = drier cheese. Rest cooked curds for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. 
8. Drain the curd by scooping into three ricotta baskets (or three cheesecloth-lined feta baskets). Reserve the liquid (whey) in a bowl.
9. Stack baskets and press with 2-10kg weight, rotating every 10 minutes until whey is ready.
10. Add citric acid solution into the whey. Heat whey to 165°F (74°C) then whisk in 1 teaspoon cheese salt and remaining (2 cups) milk. As the whey reaches 185°F (85°C), the Anari (Ricotta) will rise to the surface – scoop Anari directly into a ricotta basket and then cook the haloumi.
11a. Cook the haloumi by lowering the pressed curd into the hot clarified whey (use a ladle or spoon). The haloumi will sink and slowly rise then float when ready – around 10 minutes for less squeaky cheese, up to 15 minutes for more squeaky textured cheese.
11b. Place haloumi into cold water for a few seconds before draining on a cheese mat (or rack) until it is warm to touch. OPTIONAL: Press haloumi out, sprinkle with remaining salt and mint leaves then fold over. 
12a. Eat fresh: haloumi can be refrigerated in an airtight container, vacuum sealed or placed into light brine (5% salt). Age cheese for 3-5 days and consume within 7 days.
12b. Longer storage: store haloumi in a medium brine (8-12% salt), age 2-8 weeks and enjoy as a feta alternative.
12c. Slice haloumi before grilling and serving.

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