Hello, hello, hello! I’m quite late for this Fiesta Friday. Unfortunately my laptop charger, the second that this has happened to, broke and started to smoke and spark. So I’ve been without my laptop while another charger was coming in the post. But better late than never!
For this past Australia Day I was almost inundated with some classic recipes which I could do. Pavlova, Lamingtons, cakes styled to look like classic Australian biscuits, and more. But I didn’t want to do a sweet recipe. I wanted to do something delicious, but something a little healthier and much more savoury. So casting about the internet I found a fantastic collection of damper recipes.
For those who aren’t familiar, damper is the traditional bushman’s bread, made from flour, salt and water and mixed together and then cooked over a campfire. One of the first mentions of damper I could find, as damper, was in 1825! There is some contention about who first wrote about, or at least design, damper. Some say it was invented by a particular First Fleet baker, names William Bond, or others suggest it was more an accidental creation of stockmen and drovers who couldn’t carry anything on them that would spoil, but who needed something to fill their stomachs, or even a copycat version of Irish soda bread. According to some historians there’s even contention over where the name comes from – whether it’s derived from the expression that something dampens the appetite, or whether it refers to the cooking method – damping the fire with ashes, to create a camp oven in which to cook the bread.
But regardless of where it came from, this is a classic food. I remember making damper over the campfire when I was a girl guide as a little girl! But I wanted to do something more filling, and test how well the damper could hold as I started to fill it with more ingredients. So this Pizza Damper was the perfect test run, and paved the way for the recipe coming next week.
Adapted from Taste.com.au’s
Serves: 7-8, Prep: 20 mins, Cook: 20-25 mins
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp gluten free self raising flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 60g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 100g pepperoni, gluten free, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup grated pizza cheese
- 14 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsely, finely chopped
- Buttermilk, extra, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 220C (200C Fan-forced), and line a tray with baking paper.
- Sift flour, sugar and salt into a bowl, and mix in the butter until the mixture resembles somehing like fine breadcrumbs.
- Add in all other ingredients, excepting the buttermilk, and mix well.
- Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add in the buttermilk, stirring until a sticky dough forms.
- NOTE: I kept my dough extremely damp and extremely, extremely sticky, this meant it was very moist once baked and not dry the next day
- Turn out onto a very floured surface and gently knead until just smooth.
- Pop the dough onto the tray and shape into a 20cm round. Brush the top with buttermilk, and then mark out 8 slices, but don’t cut all the way through.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the damper sounds hollow when tapped.