Damper is a really great introduction to baking bread; it's a favourite recipe of ours because it's so simple and delicious. It's classic bush tucker and is fun to make with the kids. We always make damper over an open flame when we go camping as there's nothing like pulling apart a loaf of damper when it's still hot.
Usually we make our damper plain and add maple syrup (or golden syrup if you want to make your damper super Australian), or butter and a sprinkle of salt. But there are many ways to incorporate more flavour into the dough. A little while ago we bought some lemon myrtle and thought it would be a delicious addition to our damper. We've been experimenting more with using native Australian ingredients in our cooking, and this damper was exceptionally delicious! Now you don't have to go camping to make damper - you can easily bake it at home and use it as a side bread for cheese platters, soups, summer salads and lots more. We've also included steps for making the damper over a campfire as well.
- 900g plain white flour
- 1 Tbsp of dry lemon myrtle
- 2 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups or 500ml of milk
- Butter and golden syrup to serve
- If you're cooking over a campfire, get your fire going and create a good bed of hot coals.
- If you're baking your damper in an oven at home, lightly grease your baking tray and preheat the oven to 200˚C.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, herbs and salt.
- Make well in the centre and pour in all of the milk. Mix all of the ingredients together using a wooden spoon and soon you'll have formed a smooth, slightly lumpy (it's damper after all) moist dough.
- Lightly flour your kitchen bench, then place the dough onto the bench. Knead the dough until it's smooth in consistency and shape into a round loaf.
- Using a sharp knife, score the top of the loaf with an "x" and sprinkle the top with flour and some fresh thyme. This step is totally for decoration.
- If you're cooking over a campfire, place the loaf in a camp oven and place this onto the glowing coals. Using a shovel, lay some coals around the sides and on top of the camp oven. If you don't have a camp oven, you can wrap your loaf with aluminium foil and place the loaf onto a wire rack that sits above your glowing coals. If you place your loaf wrapped in aluminium foil directly onto the coals, the damper will burn. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the load has a golden crust and sounds hollow when tapped. You may need to add more coals throughout the cooking time.
- If you're baking your damper at home in an everyday oven, place the loaf onto an oven tray and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 180˚C, or until the load has a golden crust and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Serve with maple syrup, or golden syrup, or butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.