During the early days of European settlement in Australia, Damper bread was made over an open fire. The bread was a simple mixture of flour, water and fat and often eaten with a cup of sweet, strong black tea, known as Billy tea. Damper bread, or campfire bread, is still very popular. Variations on the traditional recipes range from using home brewed beer or milk as the liquid to incorporating fresh herbs, grated cheese, olives and sugar into the dough.
- Place flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and stir to mix.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in olive oil.
- Slowly pour in water and blend mixture. Stir until all of the flour is moistened and it begins to come together in a ball.
- Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface, fold, turn and knead the dough until it is well mixed and smooth. Do not over-knead the dough as it will make the Damper heavy and tough.
- Place dough on a lightly floured round plate (about the same size as the flatbread pan). Flatten dough with a rolling pin into an 8” (20.3 cm) round.
- Preheat flatbread pan over medium heat. When several drops of water sprinkled on pan skitter and dissipate, gently slide Damper bread from plate onto heated pan.
- Cook Damper for approximately 5- 10 minutes on medium heat until bottom becomes browned. Use spatula to lift gently and check during cooking.
- Turn Damper bread over using spatula and reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 40 - 45 minutes. Damper bread will puff up during cooking. Shake pan occasionally during cooking to ensure even browning on the bottom.
- Bread is done when a knife or skewer inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Bread should sound hollow when tapped in center.
- Let bread rest for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve Damper bread warm or at room temperature.
- Damper bread does not keep well and is best eaten in a day or two; or slice and toast for a crispier bread
- For a sweet treat serve Damper bread with butter and syrup.