Homemade Halloumi Cheese



Haloumi cheese slices


What is Halloumi?


Halloumi or Halloumi cheese  is a traditional Cypriot cheese that is also popular in the rest of the Middle East and Greece, and is now made in many countries and regions around the world. Traditional artisan Halloumi cheese is made from unpasteurised goats milk, sheep milk or a combination of the two. Traditionally, the mint leaves were used as a preservative. The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to Mozzarella, and has a salty flavor. But, today, Halloumi is often garnished with mint to add to the taste. Many people also like Halloumi that has been aged; it is much drier, much stronger and much saltier.


With its ability to withstand high temperatures without melting, Halloumi cheese can add variety and interest to cooked dishes and salads. In fact, Halloumi slices can be grilled or fried on its own. The cheese is very easy to make. Its heat resistant property comes from the fact that the fresh curds are boiled in whey and then placed in a brine solution for storage. The brine solution also makes this a long-lasting, but naturally salty cheese, and the brine is often rinsed off before the cheese is cooked or eaten.


The Halloumi cheese is made with only two ingredients: goat milk and rennet. The lack of cultures causes this cheese to be rather bland, and mint leaves are used to impart flavor to it. Some modern recipes also call for the addition of a mesophilic starter culture to add more flavor.




  • 1/2 gallon whole goat milk
  • 1/8 tsp. rennet
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped mint (optional)

Special supply:

  • cheese cloth -lined colander




  • Warm the milk to 90°F. Add the rennet to the water, and stir into the milk. Continue to stir for 30-60 seconds to be sure the rennet is evenly distributed.
  • Let the milk rest until the surface has gelled, usually about 10-15 minutes. You can check for gelling by lightly touching the surface of the milk with the flat side of a small spoon. If the spoon leaves an indent, the milk has gelled.
  • Multiply the amount of time until surface gelling by 2, and wait that much longer before cutting the curd into 2″ pieces with a long knife. For example, if it was 10 minutes before the surface gelled, wait 20 more minutes to cut the curd – cutting horizontally, vertically and diagonally across the depth of the curd.
  • Let the curd pieces rest for about 10 minutes, then cut them into smaller, 1/2″ pieces. Let the smaller pieces rest for 10 more minutes.
  • Now, stir the curds gently for 10-15 minutes to encourage the whey to separate.
  • Pour the curds into a cheese cloth-lined colander placed over a pot (you will be using this pot of whey later), and let drain for several hours until no whey is left standing with the curds.
  • * Optional – At this point, you can add about 1/2 tsp. chopped mint into the curds, or wait and place mint inside the folded pieces of cheese at the end of the process.
  • Fold the cheese cloth over the curds and press with your hands to remove more whey and to fuse the curds together. If the curds are still very loose and moist, place a weight on top (a gallon of water works fine), and continue to let drain.
  • When the curds are dry enough to stick together well, cut them into approximately 2″ wide strips. Bring the pot of drained whey almost to a boil (around 195°F), and drop in the cheese strips.
  • Let cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the strips float to the surface. Remove the strips from the whey, lightly salt each side, and let cool for 1-2 hours.



How to store and enjoy Halloumi?


To store the Halloumi, you can make a brine solution of 1/2 cup salt dissolved in 1 quart water. It is traditional to fold the cheese slices in half, making a “U” shape (* Optional – with mint leaves inside the folded portion), before storing in the brine.

The brine will keep your Halloumi good for several months, and the flavor will increase with storage time.

You can grill or fry your Halloumi, or use it to top salads and stir-fries. The thick, chewy texture of this cheese makes it a great protein substitute for meat in main dishes.



Additional  Cheeses RecipesClick the Link NOW!



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Mozzarella cheese curds made into ball





Homemade MOZZARELLA Cheese


Mozzarella cheese curds made into ball


Making Mozzarella is not that time consuming but it does take three stages which  can be completed in one day or could stretch over a three day period. If you start it one day, you should make sure to allow time to finish it the next day. If you forget to finish the cheese the next day, you can do it the next day after that but do not stretch any more days.

The following are detailed instructions on how to make Mozzarella Cheese.

However, I do not recommend that you try this as your first cheese attempt. Perhaps, start with something a little easier like Panir and work your way up to making this cheese.



  • 2 to 3 1/2 gallons fresh goat milk (not homogenized) or raw, unpasteurized goat milk.
  • 4 oz. Thermophillic culture (Lactobacillus helveticus)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. citric acid per gallon of milk – (I use 4 tsp.)
  • 1/4 tsp. calf lipase (mild “piccante”)
  • 1/2 tsp. Liquid Rennet diluted in 1/2 Cup. cool water
  • 1/2 C. Kosher salt


  • Pour the milk into a double boiler pot set up and add the citric acid. Warm the milk to 91°. Add the culture and lipase.
  • Stir well and let ripen, covered, for one hour.
  • Keeping the milk at 90° – 91° . Add the rennet and stir briskly for 15 seconds.
  • Cover and let set about 15 minutes, until the curd has “Set” or until you get a “clean break”. It takes less time to set than other cheese due to the high acidity. You can check for a clean break by sticking your knife, or thermometer, into the curd at an angle. Pull straight up out of the curd; if the curd breaks cleanly around the knife and whey runs into the crack that is made; you have a “clean break.” Once you see this for the first time, you will know just what I mean  (*Note:  Sometimes Mozzarella will set but doesn’t “break” quite the same as other cheeses, due to it’s desire to hold together and stretch, but you can definitely tell it is “set”).
  • Cut the curds into 1/4″ – 1/2″ pieces.
  • Cutting the curds can be the most confusing part, but just do not worry. Use a long knife held vertically and cut 1/4″- 1/2″ slices in the curds. Then turn the pot 90° and cut across in 1/4″- 1/2″ slices the other direction, making a kind of checkerboard pattern. Now hold the knife at a sideways 45° angle and retrace your cuts. Turn the pot 1/4 turn and retrace the cuts. Turn it again and cut and then one final turn and cut. By the last turn you probably would not be able to see the original cuts, but just do the best you can.

*Note:  Often times the Mozzarella curds can be a little trickier to cut than other cheeses. It will want to move around in the pot while you try to cut it. You may need to hold it steady with your ladle as you cut it. Just do your best; I know one will know if it is not cut “perfect”.

  • Do not stir yet.
  • Let the curds rest for 10 minutes. The curds are delicate right after you cut them and they need to “harden up” a little bit before you stir them.
  • After 10 minutes stir the curds gently with a slotted ladle.
  • Cut any large curds you missed when cutting the first time.
  • When dealing with Mozzarella, you will find it really wants to “knit” back together, especially if the ripening temperature got a little too high or you let the curds sit too long before stirring them. You may need to cut the curds apart with your knife and or ladle. Cut the curds by using the ladle and the side of the pot or by holding the curds on the ladle and cutting with the knife.
  • Keep the curds at 90° – 91°, covered, for an hour or so, stirring occasionally during the first half hour. I call this “cooking” the curds, even though you really are not cooking them per say.


“Cooking” at a higher temperature will result in a cheese with less moisture or drier cheese that is more rubbery and will yield less cheese per batch (*Note:  The higher the moisture of the cheese , it will yield more cheese out of the same amount of milk). You can experiment with this if you wish but just do not raise the temperature over 100° and raise the temperature slowly (not more than 2° every 5 minutes). Since this recipe works well for me so I do not experiment with it and just stick with holding the curds at 90° – 91°.

  • Stir once every 10 minutes of the first half hour of “cooking” for a total of three stirring sessions. After that, just let curd settle on the bottom of the pot where it will start to mat together.
  • Place a large colander lined with cheesecloth over a pot to catch the whey and pour the curds into the colander. If the cheese has become one lump, just reach in the pot and pull out the cheese and place it into the cheesecloth.
  • Tie up the ends of the cheesecloth and hang the curds to drain for 3 to 4 hours.
  • When the curd has drained for about 4 hours, remove it from the cheesecloth and “work” the curd OR, if you want to wait until the next day then place it in a gallon ziplock bag and place the bag in the fridge and “work” it the next day.


Working the Curd:

You can test the curd to see if it is ready to be worked. Cut off a small piece and put it in some hot water (170° ). Keep feeling it and see if it begins to melt. Once it starts to melt, take it out and see if you can stretch it. If it stretches with no problem, you can go to the next step. If it breaks when you try to pull it, you have not developed enough acidity and the curd needs to “age” in the fridge a bit longer, maybe even until the next day.


When the curd is ready to be “worked”, heat a large pot of water to 170° and add 1/2 cup Kosher salt. If you are working the curd the same day you made it then heat up the whey and use the hot whey instead of water; this makes the cheese even tastier and the curds “work” better as well.


Cut the curd ball in half. You are going to work only one half of the cheese at a time.


Cut the curd into approximately 1″ cubes.


Carefully dump the cubed curds into the hot water or whey.


Let the curd cubes heat for a moment and carefully stir with a slotted flat type ladle.


Squeeze the cubes with your fingertips to test. When the cubes feel soft throughout (not solid in the middle) they are ready for the next step.


Since the curds will continue to soften while you are moving them to the bowl, just let the largest ones still be a just little bit “solid” on the inside.


There is a line between not soft enough to “work” well, and too soft and runny, which you will learn with practice. The curds need to be soft enough, or they will not “work” and pull easily but too runny means failure. DO NOT let the curds heat too long, because if they get too hot and runny, there is no going back. Do not allow anything to distract your attention if you are working your curds.


Carefully remove them with the ladle to a large bowl. These curds are hot, so be careful. Take note that as you begin to work the curds, if you are rough with them, the cream will start to separate out


At first the curds may looks runny, do not worry, just keep going. Carefully take the curds in your hands and form them together into one mass. Gently fold one side over on the other to get it all to come together. Do not squeeze the curd or all the cream will come out and the finished cheese will be dry.


Work the curds gently at first, this will help it retain it’s cream. Keep a bowl of very cold water close by to stick your hands in when they get too hot from the curds. This cools them off and makes holding the hot curds easier.


Once you have got the curds come together so that you can pick it up, then just let the curd do the work for awhile:

Hold one side of the curd lump and let the other end begin to stretch under it’s own weight. When it stretches, fold up the bottom to the top and let it stretch again. As it begins to stretch you can start to help it along a little by pulling on it slightly. Keep stretching and folding. As you “work” the curds, they will stretch easier and easier. You will be able to pull the curds longer and longer. It becomes like pulling taffy (Except for the fact your hands are burning from the hot curd).

You will notice the nature of the curds changing. It will start to become shiny, smooth and elastic. When you get to this point,  you will know when you have about 10 to 15 good “pulls”

Place the cheese back in the water to warm them back for a moment.

Remove the cheese from the hot water and plop it into a mold.

Push the curd into the mold to even it up a bit. You do not have to get it perfect because the cheese is still very soft and it will even out as it rests and cools.

Repeat the “working of the curds” with the remaining curd.

Let the cheese cool at room temperature for a few  hours.

Place the cheese into the fridge overnight.

The next day, pop the cheese out of  the  mold and you are ready to make pizza.

Put the cheese in a ziplock bag and store it in the fridge. It is ready to use right away, but is much  better after a few days. Mozzarella  is one of  the  few cheeses that freezes  fairly well.


Additional Cheese Recipesclick the Link to view the details.


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Sainte-Maure de touraine 04.jpg
Saint Maure



Homemade Saint Maure Cheese


Sainte-Maure de touraine 04.jpg


Making Saint Maure is trying something really fun, getting moldy. Once you try this moldy Chevre, you may never go back to plain Chevre again. You will need molds like in plastic containers with holes in the bottom, to make this cheese.




  • 1/2 gallon of fresh goat milk or raw, unpasteurized goat milk
  • 1 oz. mesophilic culture
  • liquid rennet
  • 1/8 tsp. of white mold powder (Penicillium Candidum).

Special supplies:

  • 5 Chevre molds
  • draining mats

*Remember to sterilize all your equipment before you begin.




  • In a stainless steel pot, warm the milk to 72°.
  • Add the culture, white mold powder and stir well. Now you need to add 1/5 of a drop of rennet. Or measure out 5 Tablespoons of water into a small cup. Add to the water 1 drop of liquid rennet and stir well. Now measure out 1 Tablespoon of the rennet dilution (this one Tablespoon contains 1/5 of a drop of rennet) and add it to the milk. Stir well.
  • Cover the milk and place the pot somewhere that it can sit undisturbed and will stay about 72° for about 18 hours. But, you can let it go for 24 hours. What you do is place the pot in the cold oven until the next day.
  • When the milk has coagulated, you are ready to mold the cheese.


To make moldy cheeses:


Pour off any whey that has separated from the curd. Place your molds on a rack over a large baking pan. A lot of whey will drain from your cheese, and you will need a large pan to catch it. Carefully ladle the curds into the molds. Let the curds drain for two days at room temperature.


After the cheese has drained you can carefully unmold them into your hand. Sprinkle all the sides of the cheese with a little Kosher salt. When you unmold the cheeses, they may already have started to develop their fuzz.


For this aging, you will need some draining mats. For smaller weave in the mat, you can use a plastic craft “canvas” and it is available at Wal-Mart. If you want a larger hole in your drying rack, use “egg crate”. It comes in a large sheet intended for use in suspended ceilings and is available at home improvement stores. You can use these two “mats” separately and in combination to dry and age cheeses.


To age your Chevre, place them on a drying mat cut smaller than a large gallon size ziplock freezer bag. Slip the mat with the cheeses into a gallon ziplock bag, blow up the bag and seal it. Now you have a little aging “cave”. Let the cheeses age on the counter for a few more days and then move them into your cheese aging fridge. Here they continue to fuzz up for a few weeks. You can eat your little fuzzies at any time, but try to let them age a couple weeks to develop a good covering of mold.



Additional Cheese Recipes, click the link to view the details.



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