From a simple recipe of water, flour and a bit of salt…. You have all the ingredients you need to make traditional Australian damper. Damper is a simple ‘bush tucker’ bread that was made by stockmen who were in remote areas for many weeks days at a time. This simple bread was mixed and ‘damped’ into the coals of a campfire until it was cooked through.
Over time damper recipes have been altered and made with milk, butter, sugar and baking powder. The texture, however remains the same – a dense bread with a crispy exterior. Damper must always be paired with the Australian nickname for golden syrup, “Cocky’s Joy”.
Dukkah, originally an Egyption condiment of nuts, herbs and spices has become extremely popular in Australia with everyone making their own versions. It originally is a savoury dish but I’ve made mine sweet to pair with the damper. Dukkah is also a beautiful thing to be sprinkled on yoghurt, ice cream or granola.
When you are making damper at home, you don’t need a campfire… An oven will do the job. For this recipe I baked my damper in a cast iron skillet which resulted in a pretty good texture.
Makes 1 x 20cm round damper (4 servings)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 25-35 minutes
350g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200’C
Mix salt and flour with baking powder and rub in the butter so it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add in the water and mix until combined.
Knead the dough on a well floured surface until smooth
Shape into a 20cm disk and place in the oven in a skillet or baking tray
Dip sharp knife in flour and score the top into wedges and sprinkle with a little flour.
Bake in the oven for 35-35 minutes… when turned out and knocked on the bottom it should sound hollow
Dust with flour, serve with butter, cocky’s joy and dukkah.
Obviously wattle seed is not readily available in Singapore. You can substitute with aniseed, caraway or fennel.
Makes about 130g
100g almonds, skin on
10g/2tblsp of roasted ground wattleseed
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp black sesame seeds
18g/3 tsp brown sugar
A pinch of salt
Toast the almonds in the oven or in a fry pan. Set aside and allow to cool completely
Toast the black sesame seeds, you can use white sesames seeds if that works for you
In a food processer, lightly pulse the nuts, sesame seeds and then add the sugar, salt, ginger and herbs.
Mix until well combined
Dukkah should have a nice crunchy texture so it is important not to blend the nuts and sesame seeds too much.