Australian Cheese & Bacon Damper Recipe

Home 9 Baking World Tour 9 Australian Cheese & Bacon Damper Recipe

Australian damper is a soda bread. It can be very simple and basic, but you can elaborate it with tasty fillings like in this recipe.

Damper was first baked over coals in bush camps. There are different versions. One particularly interesting one is made by wrapping the dough around a stick and baking it over fire. Other ones are baked directly on coals. Nowadays it is mostly baked in cast iron pots.

I am using a cast iron skillet in the video. A hot solid base is always good for baking bread on, but if you do not have such a pan, then you can use any thick metal tray or Pyrex dish. If you do not have any of those, then do not feel left out as it will work on a regular tray too.

The fillings can be customized to your taste. For me, the bacon, cheddar & chives worked so well. Eating it with some cream cheese makes for a perfect combo. But all of that is up to personal preference. The only thing you need to make sure is that you do not add too much stuff to the dough as it may weigh it down. If you want to replace the fillings, then take note of the given weights in the recipe and use that as a guide.

Soda bread is such an easy win. There is no need to worry about fermentation or temperatures. You could make this in about an hour and the result is absolutely delicious.

This recipe makes one decently sized damper made up of 8 large pieces.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.

Ingredients

150g (5.3oz) white flour

150g (5.3oz) wholemeal flour

8g (0.3oz) baking powder

6g (0.2oz) salt

50g (1.75oz) cold butter, cut into cubes

240g (8.45oz) buttermilk

15g (0.5oz) chopped chives

140g (4.9oz) streaky bacon. I used smoked streaky bacon.

70g (2.45oz) cheddar cheese, cut into cubes

 

More buttermilk to brush the loaf with before baking

Method

1.  Cook the bacon. Lay it down on a tray with non-stick paper and roast it in a pre-heated oven at 200C (390F) fan off. 20 minutes should do the job.

2.  As soon as the bacon comes out the oven start preheating you baking vessel.

3.  Leave the bacon to cool down completely. Cut it into small pieces.

4.  Once your pan has been preheating for at least 30 minutes you can start making the dough. In a large bowl combine the white flour, wholemeal flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well. Add the cold butter cubes and rub them into the flour mix as if you were making biscuit dough. Do this for around two minutes until the butter is all crumbled up.

5.  Continue by adding the chives, cheddar, and bacon. Mix well again. Finally, pour in the buttermilk. Continue by mixing with your dough scraper. This dough does not require kneading. In fact, gluten is our enemy in this recipe. The looser the dough the better it will rise in the oven, so mix it just until all the dry flour disappears.

6.  Place the dough on a non-stick paper square and shape it into a flat disc. Using your scraper score the dough. I divided it into 8, but you can do more if you like. Do not cut it all the way through though.

7.  Brush the surface with buttermilk generously. This will make the loaf shine and give it a golden colour.

8.  Bake for around 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reads above 94C (200F).

 

Leave to cool down and tuck in! And while you’re at it check out some more Baking World Tour videos.

Watch the video here

Understanding the principles of bread making will let you be in complete control every time you make bread. It will reduce the failure rate and turn you into an even more confident home baker.

I highly recommend you check out the Learning page where I have detailed, easy to understand explanations on each step of the bread baking process and the principles behind it. You can find all the equipment I use and recommend in the Shop (UK) & Shop (US) pages.

Show/Hide Comments (2 comments)
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2 Comments

  1. Joan

    Yum, and so easy!
    Used that cast iron skillet to fry the bacon. I didn’t have green onions, so I finely chopped a sweet onion and saute’ in the bacon grease. Put the same skillet into the oven to heat. Mixed all in a bowl, onto the parchment paper, and into the hot skillet. Resulting texture was very biscuit like. May try this mix for drop biscuits.

    Reply

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