All about damper
With summer in full swing, what better way to celebrate than with a traditional Australian damper recipe. We’ve all heard of damper, but what exactly is it? Damper is an Australian soda bread, traditionally baked over coals, or alternatively in a camp oven. It can even be wrapped around a stick and held over the fire. Made with flour and water, damper serves as an iconic symbol of life in outback Australia. The dish was classically prepared by travellers, stockmen and drovers. They would be isolated in remote areas for perhaps months at a time. This meant they could only carry certain rations with them, which would then have to last their entire journey as there would be no access to further supplies. Therefore, by only carrying flour, they could use the water in their surrounds to create a filling meal.
Damper is also a popular dish with Aboriginal Australians, with Aboriginal women typically making ‘bush bread’ from grains and nuts.
Did you know? Damper got its name due to the fact that the fire is damped to allow the bread to be cooked over the ash.
Luckily, a traditional damper recipe is super easy to recreate! Don’t worry if you don’t have a camp fire or camp oven to cook with either, baking the damper in your regular kitchen oven will work just as well.
The simplest damper recipe is mixing an amount of flour with half the amount of water and adding a generous pinch of salt. Many recipes may use a mix of self-raising and plain flour, milk instead of water, baking soda, and even beer to act as a yeast substitute! You could also try adding ingredients like cinnamon or sultanas for some extra flavour. The damper needs to be cooked for around 30 to 40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped. If you’re cooking in a kitchen oven, make sure it is preheated to 200º.
Damper is delicious simply by itself or served warm with golden syrup. There are also plenty of ways to use it in your everyday meals. You could try it as a snack, serving with cheese, dips and hummus. Or have it on the side to go with a casserole or stew. If you’re heading to a summer party or going round to a friend’s house, why not make a batch of damper to help celebrate any occasion?
Hastings Coffee Co
If you’re not feeling up to baking, come on into Hastings Coffee Co and enjoy some of our delicious treats on offer. We may not be serving damper, but our award-winning sourdough and other tasty dishes are sure to satisfy any of your bakery cravings! Start your morning with a gorgeous view and flavourful coffee, or unwind in the evening with a number of our delicious meals, served all day.