After a long day designing and working and trying to get my tutor to agree with my concept for my senior project, I find a sweet escape in my favorite TV shows. I get myself ready with a cup of tea, and succumb to a night on the couch with my series running.
I’ve mentioned before how much of a Game of Thrones fan I am. Unfortunately, I don’t have the channel that’s showing the series as it goes, and I have a horrible internet connection which makes streaming depressing rather than letting me enjoy it.
So, I give in to whatever series they’re showing on TV. BUT since I’m a picky watcher, nothing appeals to me as much as my beloved cooking channels. My favorite shows are competitive cooking competitions. I’ve been a fan of Master Chef Australia ever since it first premiered, and have been a dedicated viewer since. I’m currently on Season 4, which already aired in Australia, but hey, it’s still fun to watch (even though my curiosity didn’t stop me from googling who won).
Another show that I recently got to know it My Kitchen Rules, and what do you know, it’s also Australian! You can’t but love those Aussies! (I also googled who won, *oops*).
So a couple of weeks ago, they had a challenge, where they had to bake a traditional australian bread, damper, in the outdoors in a camp fire. The thing that really interested me in that bread is that it needed no yeast, so for a person with an extreme lack of patience, that was perfect since I didn’t have to wait through raising time!
Ten minutes to prepare, 30 minutes in the oven, and BAM you get yourself a gorgeous piece of bread that tastes as good as it look!
So I got the basic recipe from Manu’s Menu, which is my new favorite Italian recipe website, I tried the basic one first time, to try and see how it goes along, then I let myself adventure with tastes and variations. I gave it a sweet twist the second time, adding sugar, raisins and prunes, and then went ahead and added cheese, herbs and sun-dried tomatoes.
The original Damper.
In all the times I’ve made it, only a little piece survives the night! It’s so easy and versatile that even the worse bread maker (Moi!) can’t go wrong with it.
- 450 grams all purpose flour
- 80 grams butter, cubed and chilled.
- 2 tablespoons Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 170 ml milk
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- Herbs and spices of your choice (oregano, rosemary, cinnamon…)
- Preheated oven at 200°C
- Put the flour, salt, herbs and spices (if using) and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Or you can use your hands to crumble them but you may need to put them in the fridge a bit to harden the butter again.
- Whisk the egg in the milk well and add to flour mixture.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk if you find necessary until you obtain a smooth dough.
- Shape it into an 18 cm disc and place it on a floured baking tray.
- Mark 8 wedges on the top with a sharp knife that has been dipped in flour and dust the damper with a little extra flour.
- Bake it for 30 – 40 minutes or until the damper is cooked through and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
- Transfer it to a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool. You can serve it warm or at room temperature. It can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.