Inspired by Lakeland Plastics catalogue, as I’m sure many people are, but with much consideration, I bought their book on soft cheese-making, and after a bit of a search I got all the equipment I needed… and yesterday was the day!
I decided to start with halumi, because it seemed quite simple and we like it! I’ve made cottage cheese loads of times without following a recipe, so I felt I sort of knew what I was doing!
Because this was the first time, I followed the recipe assiduously… and soon came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a very good recipe. It did not explain how long each process should take, and about fifteen minutes after I added the vinegar, as the curd seemed to have formed I poured if off… but there was still a lot of milk in the whey and I had to add more vinegar in order to make a proper curd.
When it was in the muslin it made no mention of how long it should sit for, or whether the excess whey should be gently squeezed out… which I think it should have been. I ladled the curds into the moulds (with no idea whether I had salted it enough) and left it over night. As you can see from the slides above, when I cut into it, it was more like a cream cheese than a nice firm , slightly rubbery (in a nice way) halumi.
I grilled it, very carefully as it fell to pieces so easily, and a sort of skin formed… it tasted ok, but not what I expected. I’ll have another go – but look for another recipe before I do!
I still love Lakeland Plastics, I’ve had some brilliant stuff from them… just not sure that this first recipe from their book worked!