Our jolly swagman in bygone years, would only have had the very bare necessities and I guess in those days it qualified as bread to go with any protein, they could grab, if any at all, perhaps a tasty bit of lamb or perhaps mutton…… if they were lucky!
Their damper would be just flour salt and water, mixed together and baked over the fire. ( The fat from the cooked meat soaked up by their Damper, no doubt, sounds OK?!)
I loved on our Australia Day, having a barbecue with our children and friends at home and presenting also my damper.
This, I did bake in our oven, although over a fire lying in the hot coals in a suitable pot, would also have been delicious, especially the aroma!
(I often saved that spot for some yummy potatoes in their jackets!)
Damper is very much like a scone mixture, without the eggs.
Pre heat oven to 200C ( 390F ) and grease a tray with butter and a light coating of flour, the tray; round, or square, if you like, whatever fits.
3 cups Self Raising flour
100 grams of butter
1/4 of a teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of water
(not that much different to the original is it?)
Mix gently and combine, then tip out on to floured board and knead gently and then pat into shape and transfer to your prepared tray, ( Ends up a mound, like an upside down bowl) mark top of dough with a cross, for air to escape and help allow dough to rise. Brush top with a little milk for a glaze.
Cook for 30 minutes, to check if cooked, tap base of Damper, if it sounds hollow, well done!
We can add flavours to our Damper, if we want to deviate from the original recipe.
Just a little lemon thyme and parsley, may be nice added to our dough, perhaps if we are cooking chicken on the barbie, well lemon thyme and parsley in our Damper will just make it more delicious and don’t forget the glorious flavour of butter spread on our slice of our Damper. Yum!