Today the weather is cold, very windy and rather unpleasant. We had some rather nasty rain last night and so it is very fresh today. I decided that we would have a thick minestrone soup for dinner tonight and so threw it all into my crockpot to cook. Instead of bread with it, I decided to try a good old Aussie traditional bread – Damper!
Damper is traditionally a simple Australian unleavened bread baked in the hot coals of a campfire. The dough was wrapped around a stick and cooked or put into an iron pot and buried into the coals.
The bread is called damper because the fire is damped to allow the bread to be cooked over the ash covered coals. During colonial times it was a staple food in the bush because the dry ingredients could be easily carried and they only needed water to make the damper. Damper has changed slightly over the years to include butter and sugar in some recipes as well as beer in others. Of course I won’t be cooking it over a traditional fire (not even my indoor one) but the oven will do fine.
One of my most favourite movies of all time is Australia with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. It is such a lovely story of life in colonial Australia and is so special – if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and get it out for a Saturday afternoon when the weather is bad. Of course having Hugh Jackman in the movie is a serious plus as he is the second most gorgeous man ever (after hubby of course!!) – if I had to be stranded in the outback, I would want him to rescue me!!
- 4 cups self-raising flour
- 3/4 – 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
Mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter until fine crumbs form. Add milk to make a soft dough. Knead lightly on floured board until smooth. Shape into round loaf, brush with milk, and bake at 180 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped.
Here’s hoping you enjoy a real Aussie treat.