Aussie Dampers

Aussie Dampers

From Consumer Information, Bread Research Institute of Australia, PO Box 7, North Ryde 2113

Early Bushmen, travellers and settlers made a mixture of flour and water, (sometimes with baking powder or baking soda) into a dough which was shaped into a large, round cake and baked in the ashes of the fire. Powdered milk and/or dripping were added to the mixture when supplies were plentiful and later, when milk was readily available, sour milk was added in place of water to mix the dough, and it was often baked in a camp oven in the camp fire.

 

Oatmeal Damper  

2 cups Laucke Wallaby Flour

1 cup Laucke Wholemeal Flour

1 cup Oat Flour (or rolled oats ground in blender)

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup boiling water

¼ cup salad oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup milk

 

Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Pour boiling water over honey and salad oil, and stir to dissolve honey and then mix with the milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the honey and milk mixture, and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place in a greased casserole with a lid, and bake in very hot oven (220°C) for 40 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from casserole, wrap in a clean tea towel and cool on a wire rack.

 

Bran Damper

This nutty tasting bread goes well with sweet or savoury foods.  Stored in a plastic bag, it keeps well for 3 – 4 days.

1 cup unprocessed bran

1 tablespoon golden syrup or honey

1 tablespoon margarine

½ cup boiling water

3-1/2 cups Laucke Wallaby Flour or (IGA / Foodland have Laucke Self Raising Flour)

3 teaspoons baking powder only if not using the Self Raising Flour.

1 cup milk

 

Place bran, golden syrup and margarine in a bowl, add boiling water, stir well and add bran mixture and milk and set aside. Sift flour and baking powder (if used) together in a large bowl, add the mixture from above and mix to a soft dough with a knife. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead into a smooth ball.

Place dough in a greased, deep 18 cm round cake pan, and flatten slightly. Invert a greased 20 cm sponge pan over the top of the loaf (or place in a greased casserole with a lid). Bake in a hot oven (220°C) for 40 – 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. (Loaf will sound hollow when tapped.) Remove from pan, wrap in a clean tea-towel and cool on a wire rack.

Bran Damper freezes well, slice bread before freezing, then individual slices may be removed as required without thawing the whole loaf.

If damper is new to you, try making one of the following mixtures. Damper is traditionally served hot, in thick slices and smothered with butter and Golden Syrup.

 

Original Swaggie’s Damper

4 cups Laucke Wallaby Flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 – 1/3 cups water (approximately)

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add water and mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Form into a lightly flattened cake, cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife, and place in a camp oven with a lid. Place coals around the lid rim to hasten cooking and bake in the open coals of a camp fire until well risen and crusty. Baking time will depend on the heat of the fire.

 

Camper’s Damper

Form dough into strips and wind it around the ends of thick, green sticks, making sure the dough covers only one end of the stick. Hold over the camp fire. When cooked the damper will easily come off the end of the stick leaving a hollow to be filled with butter, jam, honey or golden syrup.

 

Fruit Damper

4 cups of Laucke Wallaby Flour or if shopping at IGA / Foodland Laucke Self Raising Flour

3 teaspoons baking powder if using the Wallaby

1 tablespoon golden syrup or honey

1 tablespoon margarine

1-1/4 cups milk or water or 1 ½ cups if using wholemeal flour as per suggestion below.

¾ cup sultanas or currants

Mix flour and baking powder (if using) together. Add fruit. Melt golden syrup and margarine together. Pour milk or water into dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough with a knife or spatula. Turn onto a floured board and knead into a smooth ball. Place on a flour dusted oven tray, flatten slightly, cut a cross in the top with a sharp knife and bake in a hot oven (220°C), for 30 – 40 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Cooked damper will sound hollow when tapped gently.

Variation: Use 2 cups white and 2 cups wholemeal flour. And the baking powder in the recipe above.

 

New Fashioned Damper

4-1/2 cups Laucke Wallaby Flour or if shopping at IGA / Foodland Laucke Self Raising Flour

3 teaspoons baking powder only if using Wallaby Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1-3/4 – 2 cups buttermilk

Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl. Make a well in the centre, add salad oil and buttermilk and mix to a soft dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Form into a ball, flatten slightly, place on a floured tray and dust top with flour. Bake in a hot oven (220°C) for 30 – 40 minutes or until well risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack covered with a clean cloth.

 

Beer Damper

4-1/2 cups Laucke Wallaby Flour or if shopping at IGA / Foodland Laucke Self Raising Flour

3 teaspoons baking powder only if using Wallaby Flour

1 x 375 ml can beer

Mix 4-1/2 cups flour and baking powder (if used) together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beer. Mix to a soft dough adding extra flour if necessary. Knead into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Flatten slightly, and bake in a hot oven (220°C) for 30 – 40 minutes until well risen and brown.

An old superstitious belief states that a cross cut in the bread dough before baking “lets the devil out of the loaf”. There is a practical reason – a cut helps the loaf to expand without cracking.