Bachelor Cooking: Australian Damper

Here’s what happens when you mishear things.

During the day, while I’m working, I listen to an Australian oldies radio station, Gold MX in Albany, W.A. It’s mostly music with a few regional commercials. One of the commercials is for a scenic boat tour along the Kalgan River on the riverboat Kalgan Queen. Hey, if you want to book a tour, here’s their website.

The radio commercial describes many perks of riding this riverboat tour, including enjoying the captain’s hot damper.

I’m not sure what that means. Because I’m thinking if this is a riverboat, then a “damper” must be that thing that keeps the smoke going through the smokestacks.

My bad. Apparently “damper” is a type of Australian soda bread. Here’s the recipe. Although technically it’s not a “bread,” in that it doesn’t have yeast as one of the ingredients. I think.

So with that in mind, I figured I’d give a shot at making some damper.

Rolling up the sleeves.

    • One cup of self-rising flour
    • 1/2 stick of salted butter, chopped and diced
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • Kosher salt (because every meal needs Kosher salt)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix flour and butter in large mixing bowl. Fold in almost the entire 2/3 cup of milk until you get a dough.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead into a disc.

Place dough disc on baking sheet. With a knife, cut a cross into the top of the bread. Sprinkle milk on top of the bread.

Into the oven for 30 minutes.

Put the Kosher salt away and save it for another recipe.

Take the damper out of the oven and serve warm. Apparently the traditional method uses syrup or jam, but it can be eaten straight if you wish.

Holy cow. I made damper!

And this stuff tastes good!!

Maybe at some point in time, I’ll make some variation on this tasty little comfort food. Some of the recipes from the Kalgan Queen call for various spices, and to eschew the oven and use the ashes of a charcoal pit for baking.

I’m good this way. Scuse me, gonna eat another bite.

Oh man, this is ripper. Too right.

Yeah, this is good stuff.

Not bad for an American’s first try, eh?