Monday, 18 January 2010

How to make Halloumi (and ricotta on the side)

Recently, people have become excited when they discover I know how to make Halloumi, so I thought I'd post the recipe, for which many thanks to the wonderful Pam at Canon Frome.

You need:

Some goats milk, ideally unpasturised and organic and taken from the animal with your own hand (ideally)
A thermometer
Some cheesecloth or muslin or similar thin clean material, about the size of a dishcloth
A colander
Two pans big enough for the volumes you're working with
Rennet - either veggie or non veggie (I think it comes from the stomach lining of an animal)
Some kind of hook about 2 or 3 feet above some kind of surface where you can leave things undisturbed for 24 hours.


Heat the milk to 35 degrees c. Ideally use a few litres, maybe 2 - 4 litres, of milk.

Mix a slosh of rennet with a bit of water in a mug, and add that to the milk when it reaches 35 degrees. Turn off the heat.

When you add the rennet, the milk separates into curds (thick yoghurty stuff) and whey (like milk with all the whiteness taken out of it).

Put your cloth in the colander and put the colander over a big bowl.

Pour the contents of your pan into it. The curds will stay in the cloth / colander, and the whey goes into the bowl.  Pick up the edges of the cloth and bring them in, twist them around so they form reasonably snugly around the curd, and tie a knot in them. Then move the whole shabang - curds-in-cloth, whey-in-bowl, colander in between - actually you can remove the colander now - to your hook, and hang the curds-in-cloth on your hook.

Remove a jug of the whey from the bowl, add a teaspoon or two of salt, and put it in the fridge.

Do something else for 24 hours.

The Next Day

Unwrap the curd and cut it into big chunks, each the size of a small block of halloumi.
Put the whey in a pan and heat it to 90 degrees. Then put the curd pieces in carefully and let it boil for 30 minutes. Don't let it go over 95 at all costs.

As it cooks, skim off the curd that comes to the surface and put it in cloth/colander/bowl. This is ricotta - 'twice cooked'.

After 30 mins, take the curd pieces out of the whey and put them on a rack to cool; cover them somehow for protection. Give the whey to your pigs or chickens.

When cool, put the the halloumi pieces in a dish and pour over the salty whey you put in the jug on the first day.

As you do all this, listen to something interesting on the radio / bbc iPlayer / a ted talk / sing / have a calm time

Don't bother doing it if you're in a hurry, spoils all the fun.

Eat and share.



  1. hi,
    looks good, but how much rennet do i add?

  2. Hey there... Love your post and Blog. I just promoted you on my own blog ( ) Hope you like it and thank you for posting a great Recipe on Cheese

  3. Hi Magnets, a few drops I guess. Like one or two sloshes when you're adding soy sauce to a stir fry. Or a few drops. Maybe a teaspoon or two? Good luck!

  4. Thanks for the recipe!
    Are you talking about degree Celcius or Fahrenheit?

    1. Celsius. Sorry, I'll edit now to make clearer.



  5. How much milk to add? And how much cheese will I have at the end?