Ann's Saltbush Damper

Making Ann's Saltbush Damper on a freezing cold Melbourne Day was just the ticket to warm us up! And eating slabs of it with lashings of butter just made it heavenly. The recipe makes a large Damper and you can cut the recipe in half if you wish. Do have a go at making Ann's fabulous Damper, yourself - look's like a lot of instructions but it isn't as Ann has generously provided instructions for cooking in an oven or over coals ! Wow, how good is that!
Here's is the recipe courtesy of Anne who owns and operates Rippanleigh Farm near Swan Hill and happens to grow saltbush  - delicious just doesn't do it justice!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cool time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 16
6 cups self-raising flour, sifted
4 tbsp. Saltbush, 
150g butter, chilled and diced
360ml water

1. If you're making the damper over a camp fire, then get a nice bed of hot wood coals going. Do not preheat your cast iron pot until the damper bread is ready to cook. If you're baking the damper in an oven at home, pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

2. In a large bowl, add the sifted self raising flour, ½ of the milled Saltbush and mix together. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the self raising flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Next, add the water to the flour mixture and using a butter knife, make cutting motions through the mixture until it comes together. If the mixture looks a bit dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of extra water.

4. If you're at home, turn the dough over onto a lightly floured surface (like a marble or wooden countertop) and knead gently for a couple minutes until smooth. If you're camping, you can knead the dough in the large bowl, just make sure the bowl is lightly floured so it doesn't stick to the bowl.

5.Once smooth, roughly shape the dough into a disc shape and place onto a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper. If you're camping, roughly shape your damper into a disc shape about the same size as your cast iron pot and place the damper into the lightly oiled pot.

6. Using a sharp knife, with a bit of self raising flour on it, give the damper a score across the top. Do this by making a few slits on the very top of the damper with the knife. Scoring is important because it allows the build-up of carbon dioxide from the yeast to release properly when the damper is baking.

7. Dust the top of the damper with a little bit of self raising flour and the remaining Saltbush. If you're using a camp oven, put the lid on the cast iron pot and place it in the middle of the bed of gently glowing hot wood coals. With a shovel, push the hot wood coals up around the sides of the entire pot so it cooks evenly, and shovel some coals on top of the pot. Bake the damper in the pot over your camp oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown. If you're at home, place the damper into the preheated oven and cook for the same amount of time. You will know if the damper bread is cooked if it sounds hollow when you turn the bread over and tap the bottom.

8. At home, take the damper out of the oven, and place it onto a wire rack to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes. If you're camping, take your pot off of the camp oven and take the damper out to cool .

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment