The other cheese for Challenge 3 was halloumi, a cheese we had never tried. It is very similar in approach to the feta, but does not contain any starter culture, and does add a few new techniques.
As always, we assembled all of our ingredients, and carefully sterilized all of the equipment that we would be using. For our first batch of halloumi we used 100% cow milk.
So now that we have everything assembled we begin by putting the milk in the pot, we then slowly heat it up to 90 degrees F (a little higher than the feta).
After getting the milk to temperature we remove from the heat and add the lipase (diluted in some water) into our pot and stirred, we let it rest for a few minutes.
We then add the calcium chloride, mix it in then add the rennet (both also diluted in some water). We let it sit for another 30-45 minutes for the curds to form, again keeping it at 90 degrees F.
Then we let it rest for 5 minutes and then we heat it up to 104 degrees F, and keep there for about 20 minutes. This is one of the differences from the feta. During this time it is stirred and the curds become more rounded and will eventually fall to the bottom.
After the 20 minutes, some of the whey is removed, with remainder whey and curds being drained in cheesecloth lined colander, keeping this whey for later use. There is an option to add mint, which we did. It is then drained for a short while.
After about two weeks we tasted the halloumi. First “raw”, which is not advisable or at least it was not enjoyed by us. Very salty and rubbery, like chewing on a minty eraser. I did not much like it this way, but was eager to try it fried. We fried it in a clean non-stick pan, and served it itch a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. I was the only one that liked it to any degree, but it was still on the rubbery side, but the flavor was great!
I think we will give this another try, but perhaps with a mix of milks.
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