I have been a commercial cheesemaker for the past 4 years in a really successful tiny cottage industry called Tweed Valley Whey Farmhouse Cheeses. I have finished my partnership as of this week and I am ready to share the secrets.
I made from 250 - 400 litres of haloumi per week and still could not keep up with our sales.
* 10 litres of cow or goat milk. This is also really successful with shop bought milk that has been pasteurised and homoginised.
* heat milk to 34C, raw milk is fine.
* if using shop milk then add 2.5ml calcium chloride to 50 ml cooled boiled unclorinated water
* add 3ml of rennet to 50ml cooled boiled unclorinated water.
* cover container with lid and let set 30 - 40 mins
* cut into 1.5cm cubes and slowly stir at first to keep curds gently moving.
* slowly bring the temperature to 40C over a 30 - 40 minute stirring constantly.
* If the curds are too big just cut them as you stir, this is very calming and time will pass quickly. The curd should be shrinking and looking more like scrambled egg. You can tell when the curd is ready to hoop because it bounces back to the touch, not sloppy. Bigger curds will be obvious so cut them and keep stirring.
* Once you have reached 40C if your curd isn't quite ready just stir for another 5 - 10 minutes
* Using a slotted spoon or small ricotta basket scoop out curd into 2 containers of equal size. I use two square hoops that fit inside each other.
* Place hoops one on top of each other to press curd gently, no need to add extra pressure, swap every 15 minutes over an hour. It should be smoothing out but still porous.
* Now use the whey still in the pan to make Divine ricotta out of. Add a litre of decent milk. I used a bought unhomoginised (organic is all that is available here and that cost me $3.70 which is quite cheap for a beautiful 400gm ricotta)
* Over a direct flame, heat the whey to 85C, no hotter or your ricotta will taste scalded.
* slowly add a good white vinegar, approx 100ml ( a little at a time but this will differ every time, you need to watch and be patient. SLOWLY move the whey around with your slotted spoon until flocculation occurs (love that word) If the whey is still a bit milky then add a tiny bit more keeping the temp at around 85C. If you add too much vinegar then the ricotta sinks and may not work.
* Turn off heat and put the lid on the pot to keep warm for about 10 mins. Using a little sieve, scoop the ricotta into another sieve to drain, get to the bottom of the pan as some will sink. You should get about 400gm. Leave to cool before you package and refrigerate. Use by date in a covered container is 10 - 14 days. I never use salt.
* reheat the whey to 85C and cut the haloumi curd into 2cm slices and put into the hot whey, cover and leave for 1 hour. Do not reheat once haloumi is in the whey you don't want to cook it.
* drain each slice on a rack until cool. Add a 15% salt brine (approx 15gm salt to 100ml cooled boiled water) to the container and store in fridge. use by date if curd is covered by brine is 3 months.
Good luck with this recipe but you dint need luck, you cant kill haloumi with a stick! Shop milk and Calcium chloride still works but the curd breaks up a fair bit, the end result is still great.
I love haloumi cut into cubes in a soup, casserole, curry sauce, pasta sauce. You can throw it in and let it bubble for ages. puffs up and my family fight over it.