How’s Halloumi Made?

Halloumi is a semihard, brined cheese that originated in Cyprus. It’s known for its unique texture and high melting point, making it suitable for grilling or frying. Here’s a simplified version of how halloumi is traditionally made:




 4 liters of fresh milk (sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk)

 1/4 tablet of rennet or 1 teaspoon of liquid rennet

 1/4 teaspoon calcium chloride (optional, if using pasteurized milk)

 1 teaspoon cheese culture or 1/4 cup of buttermilk (as a starter culture)

 1 teaspoon cheese salt (or noniodized table salt)




  1. Prepare the Milk:

Heat the milk in a large pot to around 86°F (30°C).

If using pasteurized milk, you may need to add calcium chloride to help with curd formation. Dissolve it in a little water and add it to the milk.

  1. Add the Culture and Rennet:

Sprinkle the cheese culture or add buttermilk to the milk, stirring gently.

Dissolve the rennet in a 1/4 cup of water and add it to the milk. Stir gently in an upanddown motion to distribute the culture and rennet evenly.

  1. Allow Curds to Form:

Cover the pot and let it sit undisturbed for about 12 hours until the curds have formed and you get a clean break. The curds should be cut into small cubes.

  1. Cut and Cook the Curds:

Cut the curds into small cubes and then let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Gradually heat the curds to around 104°F (40°C) over the course of 30 minutes. Stir gently to prevent matting.

  1. Drain the Whey:

Let the curds settle to the bottom, then carefully pour off the whey. You can use a fine cheesecloth or a muslin cloth to drain the curds.

  1. Forming and Pressing:

Gather the curds in the cheesecloth and hang it to drain for a few hours or overnight. The goal is to remove excess whey.

  1. Salting:

Once the curds have drained, mix in the cheese salt evenly.

  1. Shaping:

Form the cheese into a block or logs and press it for several hours. You can use a cheese press or improvise with weights.

  1. Brining:

Transfer the formed cheese to a brine solution made of water and salt. Let it soak for 2448 hours in the refrigerator.

  1. Storage:

Once brined, your halloumi is ready to eat. It can be stored in the refrigerator in a brine solution or vacuumsealed for an extended period.

Homemade halloumi can be enjoyed fresh or grilled, and it’s a versatile cheese in various dishes. Keep in mind that the details may vary based on the specific recipe and the desired characteristics of the cheese.

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