Sunday, August 19, 2012

Australian Cheese, Garlic and Chive Damper

     Damper is an Australian traditional non-yeast bread often cooked in camp ovens.  This recipe comes from an article written by Margaret E. Walker in Outback Camping via  It is similar to a biscuit dough but shaped into a single loaf and cut into slices.  Very simple to make and almost foolproof to bake in your dutch oven, it is easy to see why dampers are so popular.  In my 10 inch dutch oven this baked with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and the lid completely covered with 24-26 coals.  In 25 minutes the damper was golden brown and cooked all the way through.  Tangy and moist with a crispy, cheesy crust, this is a basic but wonderful bread for any time of the day.

Australian Cheese, Garlic and Chive Damper
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tblsp cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
3 Tblsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tblsp chives, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Sift flour and salt together in large bowl.
     Using fingers, rub in the chopped butter until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.
     Add Cheddar, 2 Tblsp Parmesan, garlic and chives; mix well.
     Combine milk and water.
     Make a well in flour and pour in all of the liquid, reserving 1 Tblsp for the glaze.
     Mix quickly into a soft dough, using a fork or hands.
     Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly.
     Press into a round, place in prepared dutch oven.
     Glaze with remaining milk and water mixture and sprinkle with 1 Tblsp Parmesan.
     Bake at 425 minutes for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown.
     Serve sliced with butter or olive oil.
     Individual dampers can also be shaped and baked for the same time and temperature.

Shape dough into a round loaf then sprinkle with Parmesan

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes

The boys came running to the smell of a warm damper fresh
out of the oven

An Outback classic


  1. Do you have any general rule as far as making the same recipe in a larger dutch oven? For example, if you were to make this in a 12 inch instead of your 10, what measurement and time adjustments would you make? We are new to cooking with the dutch oven and only have a 12 inch so far. Thanks for your help and your recipes, they are wonderful!

  2. Hi Megan, Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments. I often use my 10 inch oven because it's lighter and uses fewer coals. Almost all the recipes can be made in a 12 inch oven, if not I will state the exact size of the oven in the recipe. For this bread, you can easily use your 12 inch oven, just bake it at 425 degrees, probably with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom and 26-28 on the lid. I use Kingsford charcoal but you may use a different brand which could require a different amount of coals. This bread, like biscuits and scones, requires a hot oven, I think the high heat causes the dough to rise higher, the end result being a lighter and flakier biscuit. So have fun, let me know if you have any more questions, I have learned by trial and error and am still learning. Liddy

  3. What main dish would you serve this with?

    1. I think this would taste good served on the side of just about any main course, but would go especially well with a pot of stew or your favorite soup. Enjoy, Liddy