Damper damn it

Damper is Australian bush bread, traditionally associated with swaggies and stockmen who were limited in what groceries they had access to and what they could carry when working away from the homestead or towns for yonks. Damper usually consists of flour, water, salt and sometimes milk, but the modern versions can have sultanas, sugar, cheese and/or herbs added to the mix or anything you have in your pannier.  Damper is traditionally baked in the coals of a fire or placed on a old branch and cooked over the fire. It was usually eaten with dried meat, or with golden syrup or honey dribbled on it (try maple syrup), but always accompanied by a cuppa made in a billy.

Ingredients: Basic Version.

  • self raising flour – 1/3 cup
  • salt – pinch
  • milk powder – teaspoon
  • water – couple of tablespoons
  1. Turn your stove on low and start heating the pot.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add a tablespoon of water and mix with a knife.  Keep folding the mixture on itself and then add the rest of water but don’t let the mixture get too sticky.
  3. Place a small amount of flour on a clean flat surface and place the dough on it, ensuring that dough has a light coating of flour on the outside and shouldn’t stick to your hands when handled.
  4. Cut a cross into the top of the damper and place it into your pot and cover.  Turning the heat up too much results in damper with a tough bottom and mushy insides.  It’s better to leave it on the lower heat and brown it slowly 25- 35 minutes is usually good.

Notes:

  1. The above recipe uses dry goods to make the damper as they are easy to carry, store and last a long time.
  2. I use a old steamer that has had the folding wings taken off it to keep the damper off the bottom of the pot.
  3. You can add the milk powder to the water before mixing it in, and use a small amount of milk to coat the top of the damper to help it turn golden.
  4. Can be eaten with anything you fancy, vegemite, maple syrup, honey or can be eaten as is.
  5. This version makes a small bread roll size damper.