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cooeedownunder
07-22-2008, 03:38 AM
I posted this on my blog yesterday, and thought I would share it here.

I was asked the other day, “What was one of the most memorable things you came across in your research of Australian Flavour?” The first thing I thought of was a quote taken from an early Australian journal. After reading a few lines I almost skipped what makes the following statement memorable.



Damper

“A bushman’s recipe, which some people swear by and others swear at. Make a hole in some flour in a ration bag, pour in a quart pot of boiling water and stir it with a stick until you have a lump of dough, which you lift out from the surrounding flour, slightly flatten and bake in the ashes. A more luxurious way to mix it is to take off your leather legging and mix it on that, or a piece of bark.”

Mumut
07-22-2008, 04:39 AM
Using water in which the potatoes were boiled is a way of giving it extra flavour and consistency.

Mandy-Jane
07-22-2008, 04:39 AM
We made it once and cooked it on a stick over a fire outside. It was delicious!

cooeedownunder
07-22-2008, 08:58 AM
Jam Tin Damper

This recipe uses a jam tin, which needs to be cleaned, and have the label removed. The oil tin is then half filled with self-raising flour which has been mixed with a pinch of salt, and enough water to form a stiff dough. The tin is then placed in a very hot oven until the bread turns a golden brown.

Mumut
07-22-2008, 01:18 PM
We made it once and cooked it on a stick over a fire outside. It was delicious!

Really nice with golden syrup.

Jo
07-22-2008, 01:41 PM
We made it once and cooked it on a stick over a fire outside. It was delicious!

We had a damper making competition during our Year 10 school camp. My friend and I cooked ours on a large, alfoil wrapped stick, then the inside of the damper was smeared in butter and stuffed with marshmallows and a generous drizzling of melted milk chocolate.


We won. :D

Mandy-Jane
07-22-2008, 01:48 PM
Really nice with golden syrup.

Hmm. I've tried honey, but not golden syrup.

Mandy-Jane
07-22-2008, 01:50 PM
We had a damper making competition during our Year 10 school camp. My friend and I cooked ours on a large, alfoil wrapped stick, then the inside of the damper was smeared in butter and stuffed with marshmallows and a generous drizzling of melted milk chocolate.


We won. :D


Marshmallows? Oooh I don't know about that! Sounds a bit wicked to me!

Mac H.
07-22-2008, 02:32 PM
Mind you, the original quote would have definitely been tounge-in-cheek.

The quote seems to be from a 1911 cookbook, that also contained very snobbish recipes like the good old 'carpet bag' steaks. (Why someone would stuff oysters INSIDE a steak is beyond me)

Mac

Jo
07-22-2008, 03:04 PM
Marshmallows? Oooh I don't know about that! Sounds a bit wicked to me!
You reckon we could get it off the female teachers who were taste-testing? :tongue It was crispy on the outside, and doughy, gooey and rich on the inside--great camp food, especially for teenagers (and female teachers...). You could probably sprinkle in a few peanuts for crunch, too. Then it'd be the rocky road of dampers.

cooeedownunder
07-23-2008, 03:05 AM
Mind you, the original quote would have definitely been tounge-in-cheek.

The quote seems to be from a 1911 cookbook, that also contained very snobbish recipes like the good old 'carpet bag' steaks. (Why someone would stuff oysters INSIDE a steak is beyond me)

Mac

Carpet bag steak is actually nice - assuming you like oysters. It was also the main discovery I made. Americans have attributed the recipe to them, but it appears that Australia had a printed recipe of it at least 40 years earlier than our American friends.

L M Ashton
07-23-2008, 03:46 PM
The first two posts about damper made no mention of salt. Was it an omission, or is it frequently made without?

Jo
07-23-2008, 04:01 PM
I use salt, but I'm not sure if it's routinely used in a basic damper. The damper I make is like a scone mix, with one teaspoon of salt (or half a teaspoon for a lighter loaf), 3 cups of SR flour, 20g melted butter, 150ml milk and 130ml water. For flavour variations, I add 1/4 cup cooked, diced bacon and 2 tbs chives, or 1/4 cup cheese and 2 tsp mixed herbs, or 1/4 cup rolled oats and 2 tbs honey.

L M Ashton
07-23-2008, 04:03 PM
Jo, what's SR flour? Am I being dense?

What you're describing there sounds nummy, by the way. :)

Jo
07-23-2008, 04:07 PM
It is! SR flour is Self Raising Flour--flour with the raising agents like baking powder--baking soda and cream of tartar--already in it.

L M Ashton
07-23-2008, 04:27 PM
Ah, of course. :) Thanks!

Haggis
07-23-2008, 04:41 PM
. A more luxurious way to mix it is to take off your leather legging and mix it on that, or a piece of bark.”

Crap. I'm fresh out of leggings.

:D

cooeedownunder
07-24-2008, 03:57 AM
The first post was taken from the journal as is, but salt is in all real damper. Salt, water, plain flour is the basic recipe..today, milk, or self raising flour (1 cup of plain flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder make self raising flour)

KC Sunshine
07-24-2008, 04:23 AM
We made damper on Grade 3 school camp. So soft and gooey inside, crispy and delicious outside. It's really good when it gets a little bit burnt to.

You definitely have to make it yourself- I hate that damper bread you can get from the bakery and the supermarket. They think because it's soft and has flour on it that it's damper. But it aint!!!

cooeedownunder
07-24-2008, 03:43 PM
Hmm. I've tried honey, but not golden syrup.

Try vegemite, after a little butter http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Mandy-Jane
07-24-2008, 03:59 PM
Try vegemite, after a little butter http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

That sounds delicious. I LOVE vegemite and butter on hot toast, so this will be worth trying!

Jo
07-24-2008, 04:03 PM
Mmmm-mmm. Hot and buttery with the zing of Vegemite. *drools*

cooeedownunder
07-25-2008, 09:28 AM
Here's another;

Burdekin Duck

Although one would expect it to include some form of fowl due to its name, none is present. The meal was developed by early settlers who lived along the Burdekin River in Queensland, Australia. The only ingredients were damper dough, made rather damp, and corn beef, which was wrapped in the dough mixture and fried to a golden brown colour.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-25-2008, 03:46 PM
We made it once and cooked it on a stick over a fire outside. It was delicious!

This must be a very stiff dough, yes?

Mandy-Jane
07-25-2008, 05:13 PM
This must be a very stiff dough, yes?

No more stiff than bread. Just right.

Shadow_Ferret
07-25-2008, 06:13 PM
“A bushman’s recipe, which some people swear by and others swear at. Make a hole in some flour in a ration bag, pour in a quart pot of boiling water and stir it with a stick until you have a lump of dough, which you lift out from the surrounding flour, slightly flatten and bake in the ashes. A more luxurious way to mix it is to take off your leather legging and mix it on that, or a piece of bark.”
Everything about that just sounds... wrong.

In fact, all these recipes make me glad I live in the 21st century with all the modern conveniences supermarkets, boxed meals, and microwaves entail. :)

cooeedownunder
07-26-2008, 03:33 AM
In fact, all these recipes make me glad I live in the 21st century with all the modern conveniences supermarkets, boxed meals, and microwaves entail. :)

Ahmen! But damper is actually excellent if cooked correctly. Fortuneatly we can buy most of our traditional food prepackaged, but you can't beat the real thing.

CBumpkin
07-28-2008, 02:17 AM
Would love to give this recipe a go, myself! I don't have any SR flour, though. Any idea how much baking soda, etc., to add? What temperature should it be baked at and for how long?

cooeedownunder
07-28-2008, 08:09 AM
Would love to give this recipe a go, myself! I don't have any SR flour, though. Any idea how much baking soda, etc., to add? What temperature should it be baked at and for how long?

4 cups of flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
30g (1oz) butter
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven 200C (400F)

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, and mix in butter.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Mix in milk and water and knead until firm. Shape into a flattened ball.

Place on a large greased and floured tray. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 180C (260F) and bake another 15-20 minutes or until a tap on the crust causes a hollow sound, then turn onto a wire cooling tray.

Serve cut or broken into thick chunkis with oodles of golden syrup, or lashings of butter, or both.

CBumpkin
07-28-2008, 08:15 AM
Thank you, Sharon! It's on my list to try!

chevbrock
07-30-2008, 05:55 AM
I'm out of bread right now, and you've just given me the recipe for what we're having for lunch!

Instead of milk, I've also heard of using something fizzy (as per scones), such as soda water, lemonade, and if you can spare it, beer.

cooeedownunder
08-01-2008, 07:44 AM
I'm out of bread right now, and you've just given me the recipe for what we're having for lunch!

Instead of milk, I've also heard of using something fizzy (as per scones), such as soda water, lemonade, and if you can spare it, beer.

I haven't head of such things...but feel free to try it.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

chevbrock
08-01-2008, 08:03 AM
I'm planning on making a big pot of pumpkin soup this weekend, so I will try it and report back to you (we've got some James Squire here that needs drinking, so I think that will suit nicely). I've been thinking it might be nice if I throw a couple of chopped pecans in, as well.

StephanieFox
08-01-2008, 09:14 PM
American Indians have something similar, except they take the dough, flatten it a little, then deep fry it oil. It's called frybread. It's used like a taco to hold cooked ground meat, or with honey and butter. I like it just with butter.

It's about 3/4 in. thick, chewy and very flavourful. It's about 1,000,000 or so calories, so I eat it only once or twice a year, at Indian events or at the State Fair, where the local tribe has a food booth. It's a favorite of mine.

chevbrock
08-03-2008, 07:33 AM
Just goes to show that bush food knows no borders, don't it!