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Havarti Cheese Making Recipe

This is a great washed curd cheese, often full of holes (eyes) because it is only lightly pressed. There are more steps than basic cheeses but the results are worth it.

Havarti Cheese Making Recipe


  1. Heat the milk gently to 72°F (21°C) and remove from the heat.
  2. Sprinkle the culture into the milk and stir through gently.
  3. Dilute calcium chloride in $ cup of water and stir gently throughout milk.
  4. Cover the milk and maintain the heat for 30 minutes (to ripen the milk).
  5. Slowly raise temperature of milk to 80°F (27°C).
  6. Dilute rennet in $ cup of water and whisk gently through ripened milk for 30 seconds.
  7. Cover and let coagulate for 30-45 minutes- until you get a clean break.
  8. Maintaining low heat, cut the curds into &” cubes and let sit for a further 7-8 minutes.
  9. Stir gently for 3 minutes and let sit again for a further 5 minutes. This stirring helps flush out more whey.
  10. Remove around half the whey using a ladle and replace the same amount with hot (120°F/49°C) water.
  11. Add salt, stir through until dissolved.
  12. Slowly raise the temperature of the pan to 97°F (36°C), stirring throughout.
  13. Measure the temperature of the curd. You are looking to build up the temperature to 97°F (36°C).
  14. Squeeze a piece of curd in your hand. If it sticks, it’s ready. Remove the pan from the heat.
  15. Drain off surplus whey and then ladle curds into a cheese cloth-lined 2lb (1kg) mold. This mold will need a lid (follower) as this cheese will be pressed. Cover the curds with the four corners of the cloth and allow to drain for half an hour.
  16. Remove the cheese from the press, unwrap and flip the curd, rewrap and place back in the mold. Make sure you remove creases as these will show up in the final cheese.
  17. Press using a 6lb weight for 40 minutes. Undress, flip and redress the cheese and repress the cheese with the same weight for a further 1 hour. Repeat this step 2-3 more times until the whey stops dripping from the mold.
  18. Allow to drain further overnight in the mold. Make a saturated brine solution in a pot and place cheese in the brine. Cover brine pot with cheese submerged and place in a fridge for 8 hours.
  19. Remove cheese from brine and pat dry. Place on a draining mat and allow to air dry for 6 hours, flipping every couple of hours.
  20. This cheese can be aged, the longer the stronger the flavor. Havarti can be aged from 1-4 months at a cool temperature (around 52°F/11°C). Keep an eye out for unwanted surface mold and remove. Eat when the desired strength is achieved.