Most of my friends and co-workers know I make cheese. I’m the only person I know that does, which either makes this fact interesting or makes me seem weird.
I only make simple pretty basic fresh cheese, feta, cream cheese and haloumi cheese. Maybe one day I’ll move on to brie or camembert, but I don’t eat them and they are a bit more fiddly to make.
How did I come to make cheese? I spotted a homemaking cheese book in the library, it all looked interesting enough but it seemed tricky and used ingredients not exactly available at the supermarket. So the book was returned to the library and the idea kind of floated away from my head. however not from my husband’s head. He had visions of making his own brie and found a Australian web site selling home cheese making supplies and for Christmas that year he insisted on a cheese making kit. Said kit duly arrived and he made one cheese (quark) as he found it all daunting.
Rather than let the kit go to waste I thought we should get some professional cheese making advice and booked into Udder Delights cheese making workshop. We learnt to make fetta and cream cheese and learnt all about the types of cheese. I’d highly recommend it.
After the workshop I kept up making the fetta and cream cheese and mastered haloumi all by myself.
People are always amazed I make my own cheese, but it’s really easy
Let’s make Haloumi
There is fancy old fashioned milk with cream at the top
heating it to specific temperatures
getting curds and whey (a la little miss muffet)
draining the curds
and frying the Haloumi (yum)
Haloumi cheese – adapted from Home Cheesemaking Neil and Carole Willman
3 litres of unhomogenized milk
.7ml rennet (yes it .7 not 7 but this may change depending on the strength of you rennet)
cooled boiled water
500mls boiling water
Disolve salt into boiling water to make brine – set aside
heat the milk to between 32-34c
mix your rennet with 10 mls of cooled boiled water, add to milk and stir for about 30 seconds
This is where it’s a bit tricky, you have to maintain the setting temperature but can’t take the milk out of the pot. I do it by putting pot into esky. However you do it you have to leave it with temp maintained for 40 mins.
Cut the curd into 20-40mm cubes
Put pot back on stove and over 20 mins heat to 40c (sometimes this happens quicker it doesn’t seem to effect the end result).
Take curd our and put into chux cloth lined cheese hoops which are sitting on a rack over a bowl. Leave for 2 hours-overnight until the curd is firm (you want the curd to knit together)
Do not throw away the whey left in pot or in bowl
Bring whey to boil
Cut cheese into blocks 50 x 100 x 150 mm. Add them to whey. Simmer until they float – approx. 30 mins. Once floating leave another 15 mins then remove and drain on racks.
After 30 mins put the cheese into brine solution for 30 mins, then drain on rack for 1 hour.
Now it’s ready to use. I think the best way is fried and served with some fresh squeezed lemon juice .