aussie damper

aussie damper

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)
boys hanging out for that damper!


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface into a soft, smooth ball.
  5. Flatten gently so the diameter of the dough is roughly 15cm/6in and transfer to a lightly floured baking tray.
  6. Using a sharp knife gently cut 3 slits across the dough, evenly spaced apart and about 1cm deep.
  7. Brush the dough with a little milk and cook for approximately 40 minutes until golden and bottom of the damper sounds hollow when tapped.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Serve with butter, honey or jam and enjoy your Aussie damper!

For other Messy Benches bread ideas click here.