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.

 

Please Sir, I’d like some more.

Help feed Ed.
 grumpy cat
Recipes for the Loooong Haul.

Well here it is, I’m passing the hat around for any suitable simple recipe ideas for a long cycling tour.

Types of recipes I’m looking for are those that use dehydrated ingredients and/or dry foodstuff (rice, pasta, flour, herbs, curry, milk powder etc) which don’t weigh a ton or excessively bulky, oh and uses water.
Also your recipe will get posted to my recipe page along with any pictures I take when I attempt it.
I have a damper recipe that I have played around with which I think I have sorted now.

Another dry story

Dehydrating Food.

“Dehydrating or drying is a method of food preservation that works by removing moisture from the food, which in turn limits the growth of bacteria and has been used worldwide since ancient times to preserve food.  Where or when dehydration as a food preservation technique was developed has been lost over time, however the earliest known practice of food drying is 12,000 B.C. by inhabitants of the modern Middle East and Asia areas.”

Today’s attempt with different food types and dehydrating:

Corn: before 33 grams, after 9 grams.

Pineapple: before 142 grams, after 17 grams.

Apple: before 97 grams, after 15 grams.

Mince Steak: before 250 grams, after 55 grams.

Here are the before photos:

Dehydrating food
Pineapple before. 142 grams.
Dehydrating food
Corn before. 33 grams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dehydrating food
Mine meat before. 250 grams.
dehydrating food
Apple before. 97 grams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the results after waiting 10 hours: Mince, pineapple, apple and corn.

dehydrated food
Mince meat after. 55 grams.
dehydrated food
Pineapple after. 17 grams.
dehydrated food
Apple after. 15 grams.
dehydrated food
Corn after. Only 9 grams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dehydrating food is a very good way to reduce bulk and weight of your foodstuffs and prolong its life expectancy, especially handy for a long solo tour away from civilisation.  I’m sure I have many lessons to learn in my attempts to master this art.

For more information on dehydration:

Check out PineMartyn‘s youtube videos on camping and how to dehydrate food.

Two good articles on dehydrating from the Washington Post and the Dry Store

Dehydration – your friend

My lovely wife is currently away in Sydney, huffing and puffing with thousands of others in the City to Surf.  What she doesn’t know yet, is that while she is away I have been playing with the food dehydrator, as soon as she finishes her race and checks her phone she will know as she is my only subscriber.

Anyhow on the information before the blood shed.

I rummaged around the fridge and came up with some veggies that I would eat on a long bike tour, namely capsicums, carrots, onion, mushroom (maybe) and peas for now, I didn’t fancy dehydrated celery, broccoli or cucumber.

Prior to sucking the moisture out of them, here are their starting and finishing weights:

Carrot start at 107g, ended up at 12g

Mushroom 30g, 3g

Capsicum 154g, 13g

Onion 182g, 18g

Peas 88g, 17g

Not only do I save weight but more importantly I save space: As always here are some pictures:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the end result of one carrot, mushroom, onion, 1/2 capsicum and peas, total weight 561g (1/2 a kilo) to 63g.

Lessons learnt,

(1) chop up the onion, mushroom and carrot even smaller.

(2) Use the solid sheets for smaller items to stop them falling through the trays when they are drying.

(3) Use your wife’s dehydrator when she is away.