My first damper experience was at Biddy Walsh’s Irish Pub in Orange. It was soft, fluffy and warm – a perfect vessel for me to slather a generous amount of softened butter. It was memorable and delicious. I was sold with the idea of damper. My dear friends, if you were not familiar with a damper, it was a traditional Australian soda bread usually cooked over hot coals of a campfire. People who know me would tell you I was far from being a camper. But between you and me, I like the idea of camping food. Baked beans, stew cooked in a cast iron, s’mores … camping looks positively delicious! And maybe, just maybe, it is not a scary notion at all.
Having said that, I was not going to wait around for a camping opportunity to arise in order to make damper. It was a no knead bread that I was eager to try. Yes, no knead! It was a bread making dream for a fuss free baker like moi. Sometimes the joy of baking is about getting your hands dirty. You know, the sensation of sinking your fingers into the soft pillowy dough, kneading, rolling and shaping. But during work days and with some miracles, I uncovered the motivation to bake from scratch, simple processes of measuring, pouring and mixing would suffice. I confess I am not a purist when it comes to baking which led to a home version of cheesy rosemary and pecan damper loaf. This was so savoury, cheesy and buttery! There was no yeast involve (hence, a little denser) and the baking process was as simple as making pancake batter.
And if it looked like a bread, smelled like a bread and tasted like a bread, well my friends, this damper loaf is as good as a bread. Don’t you reckon?
Author: Fuss Free Cooking, recipe tweaked slightly from Donna Hay found via The New Zealand Herald
- Cooking oil for greasing the loaf pan
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp regular salt
- 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped + extra sprig to garnish
- 2 ½ cups grated pizza cheese + extra for toppings
- ½ cup roughly chopped pecans
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 80g unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 180C/356F. Line a loaf pan with baking paper. Grease the uncovered area with some cooking oil and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add self-raising flour, salt, chopped rosemary, cheese and pecans. Stir the dry ingredients with a fork until well mixed. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients mixture, then add eggs, buttermilk and melted butter. Mix all the ingredients with a fork until just combine.
- Spoon the batter into the baking paper lined loaf tin. Smooth the top with the back of the spoon and sprinkle a small handful of cheese and adorn with small sprigs of rosemary. Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean. Transfer to a plate and it is best serve warm.
- If you don't own a long loaf pan, you can bake them in a muffin pan as per the original recipe.
You will also need a 25cm/10 inched loaf pan. To serve: sliced cheddar, tomato chutney, butter, relish
This looks great! I can’t wait to make it.
Just a question regarding the butter though-80 what? grams?
Yes it is 80g. I have already rectified the recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy the loaf. I can’t wait to have this with soup today. 😀
Do I use fresh rosemary or dried? And any substitutes for the buttermilk? Thanks!!
I used fresh roesmary but I think dried rosemary will also work. Unfortunately I have not made the loaf other than buttermilk. But in the past for other recipes which called for buttermilk, I have substituted with Greek style yoghurt and they worked fine.
Ah looks amazing, I’mo deffinitely making this tomorrow :D:D Can’t wait!
Hi, I made this recipe this morning and it turned out amazing! I used gluten free self raising flour, lactose free shredded cheese and dried rosemary. My partner loves rosemary and pecans and Sunday is his study day, he is looking pretty happy right now taking notes haha
Thank you Emily!
You’re welcome Mel! I am happy to hear it turned out great for you. Thanks for sharing your gluten and lactose free variation to the recipe, it’s much appreciated! Thank you 🙂
Hi Emily, do you have any suggestions on how to store the leftovers & would we need to reheat the damper? Thank you! 😀
What I did with mine was slice and wrap them individually in cling wrap, and refrigerate them. Then reheat the sliced damper in a toaster (hence, it is important to slice the damper to fit the toaster) and that’s it. Hope this helps Mel! x Emily
Just made this to go with soup! Amazing!! Light fluffy and so delicious! Didn’t have buttermilk so used substitute of 1 capful white vinegar in milk instead.it worked a treat 🙂