An Australian Damper Recipe

An Australian Damper Recipe - certainly not a PNG Recipe but I'm sure early Australians in Papua New Guinea would have cooked similar bread substitutes.


Taken from Daniel Bowen's TOXIC CUSTARD GUIDE TO AUSTRALIA. Daniel attempts to answer questions from people interested in Australia. If you want to add some humour to your day I suggest taking a much needed break at --

Laura in the USA asks:

My son is doing a section on Australia in his world culture class. We have to bring a bread that is traditional to Australia. Do you have a recipe you could share with us?

Damper is a good one to try. It's a very simple recipe, so simple even I could cook it (well, on a good day). It started off as something the bushmen used to cook, somewhere in the outback where they had little more than a fire and the most basic of ingredients.

The following damper recipe breaks away a little from the traditional version, which was pretty much confined to being flour, water and salt. But what you lose in the tradition, you gain on the taste.

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt
  • 90 grams (3.2 oz) of butter, melted
  • half a cup of water
  • half a cup of milk
  • more milk, for glazing
  • more flour, for dusting
  • extra butter for serving
  • golden syrup (or honey if you prefer)

Rev up the oven to 210°C (for you imperial people that's 410°F). Brush an oven tray with melted butter or oil (cooking oil that is, not Castrol GTX). Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, and make a well in the middle. If you've got time, pause for a quick singalong of "Jack And Jill".

Stir up the butter, water and milk, and add to the flour. Stir it with a knife until just combined.

Throw it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and knead it for 20 seconds (that's 20.5 seconds imperial) or until it's smooth. Then plonk it into a tray and use your sculpture skills to make into a round shape about 20 centimetres (about 7.874 inches, stop me if I'm getting too precise) across.

Using a sharp pointed knife (Stanley knife not recommended) score it into 8 sections (8), about 1 centimetre deep (0.39 inches). Brush it with milk and dust it with flour, then throw it in the oven for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 180°C (356°F) and continue to bake for about 15 minutes or until it's golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Serve with loads of butter and/or syrup and/or honey. Even cream and jam is nice too.

Read all the questions and answers on Australia, and ask your own!

Courtesy of Daniel Bowen's Toxic Custard Website.

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