Soft Ewe’s Torta On Rye, Oat & Hemp Knackerbrood With Sun-Dried Lacto-Plums

If nine-tenths of taste is smell why is it that amazing tasting cheese can often smell so disgustingly bad? This year’s 34th National Cheese And Wine Fair hosted in our diminutive City Of Trujillo was no less odorous than usual. It was, however a day longer, starting mid-week to mark the May-Day holiday.

Conscious of the dairy industry’s damaging effects on the environment but being dedicated cheese lovers we opt for a middle way of goat and ewe’s cheeses from small independent producers, the cost and the caloires taking care of how much and often

Queijaria Monte Da Vinha – Portuguese ewe’s cheeses from Trujillo’s National cheese – and wine – fair

Thus, we head straight for our favourite, Queijaria Monte Da Vinha. This single-estate soft torta from Portugal’s Alentejo is pure artesan. Made with just raw ewe’s milk, salt and artichoke rennet it’s totally natural and 100% vegetarian. Refrigeration spoils its sweet, grassy depths and almost runny texture, so downing it ASAP is the best option, lest the neighbours start knocking on our door

Back home, we unwrap our prize with due reverence and ponder deeply on a suitable carrier. We settle on a crisp oat and rye knackerbrood enriched with hemp and pumpkin seed which we’ll top with our own dried sour plums, just lightly fermented to preserve their fruity sweetness. Fortunately the recipe is simplicity itself and in a mere twinkling we’re ready for the tasting

knackerbrood with cheese and sour lacto-plum

Oat & Rye Knackerbrood Crisp-Bread With Hemp & Pumpkin Seed

These unleavened flat-breads are traditionally made from rye. They lend themselves well to the addition of other cereals such as oats and love coarsely ground nuts and seeds which add shortening without the need for oil or other fats. We’ve added thyme for a Mediterranean touch to complement our torta.  As with pastry, add just enough water to bind the dry ingredients. The less water, the lighter the result
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Cuisine norther european, scandinavian, swedish


  • 3/4 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground hemp & toasted hulled pumpkin seeds or any mixture of your favourite nuts and seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt or less to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme or za’atar (optional)
  • water


  • heat your oven to 190C
  • mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and gradually add just enough water to form a dough. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Add a little more water if the mixture looks too dry
  • roll the dough out thinly on lighly oiled baking parchment. Some recommend you also use baking parchment on top, but I haven’t found this necessary
  • with a large knife or pizza wheel trim the edges and cut the rolled dough into oblongs as per your liking
  • bake on a high shelf in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your knackerbrood
  • cool briefly on a wire rack and eat immediately with your favourite toppings
  • in the unlikely event of there being some left over they keep very well in a sealed tin or small tapaware container

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