good old Aussie damper, baked in the BBQ or oven
An iconic Australian food made with only 4 ingredients, damper is quick and easy to make, tastes great and is an excellent gateway into cooking for kids. Historically, the bread is baked in the coals of a campfire or a camp oven. Our recipe is a little more modern with directions for both cooking in a charcoal barbecue (we use a Weber Kettle) and baking in an oven.
Damper is similar to a soda bread and is best eaten warm with butter, honey or jam. The addition of maple syrup to the recipe obviously adds a sweetness to the damper but is not essential.
When we made our second barbecue style damper we decided to make it with apple and cinnamon. Simply finely grate a large Granny Smith (green) apple and add to the mixture along with the cinnamon when you add the milk.
- 450g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 75g butter, in small cubes
- 250ml milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- Light a chimney starter half full with charcoal and when all the coals are covered with gray ash load up your barbecue and aim for 190c/375f. Alternatively, preheat your oven to 190c/375f.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it has the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the milk along with the maple syrup using the blunt side of a butter knife until the mixture comes together. Do not over mix. Add more milk if the dough is too dry.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface into a soft, smooth ball.
- Flatten gently so the diameter of the dough is roughly 15cm/6in and transfer to a lightly floured baking tray.
- Using a sharp knife gently cut 3 slits across the dough, evenly spaced apart and about 1cm deep.
- Brush the dough with a little milk and cook for approximately 40 minutes until golden and bottom of the damper sounds hollow when tapped.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve with butter, honey or jam and enjoy your Aussie damper!
For other Messy Benches bread ideas click here.