Australia day is dawning, and I love how it brings people together. This holiday is laidback, community-focussed and gets pretty warm. The same can be said of this damper! The fact that damper only has six ingredients and needs very little attention is just a plus! Damper is an easy dish to serve at your Australia day gathering – even though I would say it is best enjoyed with a cuppa, this rustic Australian classic will sit comfortably alongside whatever you choose to drink this weekend. Damper is so great for sharing that it’s a shame that it is not baked more often. Many bakers (including myself) are guilty of only making damper when international friends are visiting, or when patriotic days roll around…but this versatile little loaf needs more recognition. This recipe can easily be altered to include fruit, chocolate, nuts or savoury morsels – experiment and let me know what you come up with!
Traditional Australian Damper
- 4 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 25g butter
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup milk
Brown sugar butter:
- 150g butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Add the golden syrup, water and milk to the mixture, mixing until a ball of dough forms. If there are still crumbs or bits of flour lingering at the bottom of the bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water to pick them up. Try to add as little extra water as possible, as this is not supposed to be a wet dough.
Continue kneading your dough for 2 minutes in your stand mixer (I used Penelope, she’s very obliging) and shape it into a ball, then plop into the smaller of the two cake tins. Flatten the ball to better fit the tin and brush the top with some extra milk. Fit the larger cake tin on top and pop them into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes – in the first 20 minutes it should start to brown on top. By 30 minutes it should be lifting the larger cake tin. At 30 minutes, remove the larger tin and brush with extra milk, then bake for a further 20 minutes uncovered.
For a fantastic accompaniment to the damper, make brown sugar butter by whizzing together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla in the last ten minutes of the damper’s cooking time.
Damper is best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, steaming hot and slathered in butter or golden syrup. It is also most enjoyable when torn, rather than cut, because the haphazard approach to sharing a dish is fun! If you have leftovers and want to enjoy them again the day after baking, keep the damper in an airtight container overnight and reheat in the oven.