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Damper Australian bread by

Damper is a traditional Aboriginal bread and was traditionally cooked in the hot embers of a camp fire. The cattle herders watched and learned this technique and developed lots of savoury and sweet varieties of damper bread.


makes 1 Dumper

450 grams (3 cups) flour, self-raising
teaspoon salt
180 ml (6 fl oz) milk - if the mixture is too dry,
add a little more milk
1 teaspoon sugar, caster (sugar, granulated)
80 grams (1/3 cup) butter, chilled
extra flour as needed


1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together into a bowl.
2. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add milk slowly and mix to form a soft dough.
4. Knead lightly on a floured board until smooth. Shape into a round loaf, brush with milk and cut a cross in the top surface of the dough.
. . . For oven cooking
5. Grease and dust with flour a round cake tin. You can substitute a flat baking pan, but the round tin gives a better shape to the loaf.
6. Place dough in the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 190 C (375 F) for 30 - 40 minutes.

. . . For campfire cooking
5. Grease the camp oven (Dutch oven) and dust with flour. Add bread dough and cover.
6. Place in your campfire, cover with hot ashes and coals and bake for about 30 minutes.

Note: to test if it's done, tap on the loaf and it should sound hollow. Cut into moderately thick slices and serve while still warm. Top with butter, golden syrup, or your favourite jam.
Variations: You can add a variety of ingredients to Damper for a different flavour. For example, add desiccated coconut, cinnamon, sultanas and extra sugar for a sweeter Damper.

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