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I made halloumi from raw cow's milk. I followed Ricki Carroll's recipe and it tastes right but is very hard. I am wondering when cooking in the whey, it never did rise to the top, could this be why? Why wouldn't it have risen and should I have waited longer than the 60 minutes stated in the recipe?

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    Can you define "very hard"? Haloumi is a very firm cheese, and doesn't really soften when you heat it. Is this in comparison to commercial Halloumi, or in comparsion to other cheeses?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 17:58
  • @FuzzyChef In comparison to commercial. When it is hot straight from the frypan it's okay but let it cool a wee bit and it's really hard. Harder than commercial cheddar which is all I can compare it too because I am a beginner cheese maker. Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 18:51

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The cheese failing to rise and being hard are definitely related, but it's more likely that there was a problem in the cheese chemistry (particularly, in the culture), than cooking it longer in the whey would have helped. In other words, the most likely problem culprit is your starter/culture being poor quality or somehow added improperly. You are using non-chlorinated water, correct?

This is, of course, assuming that you followed Carroll's recipe exactly. If you cooked the curds at too high of a temperature, or for too long, or if you re-cooked the cheese in the whey at too low of a temperature, those would also cause similar problems.

While it's not uncommon to need to cook halloumi in the whey for longer than expected (for example, see Gavin Webber's cow-milk Halloumi video; he has to cook it for twice as long as the recipe specifies), Carroll's cooking time of an hour is already very long for finishing the cheese. Other recipes specify more like 15 minutes to 1/2 hour.

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