Introduction: Delicious Campfire-Cooked Damper Bread!
Runner Up in the
Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016
Hi everyone! Today I'm going to show you how to make damper! Damper is an easy-to-make, delicious bread that is wrapped around a stick and cooked over a campfire. When it's cooked, you can fill it with either something sweet or something savoury. It's great for when you're out tramping, or even just for a snack when you're at home. I hope you enjoy this instructable! If you have any questions I'm happy to answer them :)
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
For the Damper Bread You Will Need:
- Two cups of self-raising flour. If you don't have self-raising flour, it's super-easy to make your own... just add one and a half teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of flour. So, for this recipe, you would need three teaspoons of baking powder.
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of sugar
- Two tablespoons (or 40 grams) of soft butter. Margarine will also work.
- One cup of milk
- Grated cheese. This is for the filling, so you can do as much or as little as you like.
- Jam. Again, this is for the filling, so adjust according to taste. I like boysenberry jam, but you can use whatever you have in the pantry - even apricot goes!
Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients
Mix together your self-raising flour, sugar, and salt.
Step 3: Rub in Butter
Rub in the butter with your fingers. The mixture should represent very, very fine breadcrumbs.
Step 4: Add the Milk
Add the cup of milk, a quarter of a cup at a time. The dough should be slightly, but not overly, sticky. You might not need the entire cup of milk, or you might need a little bit more... just see how you go.
Step 5: Prepare Dough for Cooking
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and divide into approx eight balls. You can do less than eight if you want bigger pieces of damper, and vice versa. Roll each of the balls into a long, thin, 'sausage' shape.
Step 6: Choose Your Stick
Now it's time to choose the stick you want to cook your damper on. Here are a few tips:
Choose a fairly long stick, so you can cook the bread a comfortable distance from the fire.
Try to find a stick that is still green. Green wood is basically wood that has recently been broken off/ fallen off a tree, so it still has a lot of moisture left in it. The wood directly under the bark may also be green rather than brown.
Make sure your stick is clean! You don't want dirt in your damper. You can even peel the bark off the stick at one end using a pocket-knife. This will reveal the nice, clean wood underneath.
Pre-cook your stick! Some woods are poisonous so it's a good idea to 'pre-cook' the end of your chosen stick, just in case. I skipped this step with my stick because I knew I had chosen safe wood.
Step 7: Wrap the Dough Around the Stick
Wrap your sausage of dough around the end of your stick, gradually working your way upwards in a spiral pattern. When the dough is all on the stick, give it a quick squeeze with your hand just to help it all stick together. Your damper is now ready to cook! You can do this on an indoor fireplace if you like (if you have one) but the experience just isn't the same. I, personally, also think food tastes a lot better when cooked and eaten outside!
Step 8: Building the Campfire!
The next two steps are about building and lighting your outdoor fire safely. If you've done this before or already know what you're doing, skip to step 10. Otherwise, read on!
Arrange several medium-sized rocks in a circle. In the centre of this circle, place several balls of scrunched-up newspaper. Put lots of small, dry twigs in a teepee shape around the newspaper, and bigger dry sticks around the twigs. Make sure you have some dry wood nearby ready to put on your fire when it gets going.
Step 9: Lighting Your Fire
Take a match and light your newspaper in several different spots - maybe in four different places. This way, it is certain to catch in at least one spot. Make sure someone responsible with matches does this step. When the flames get a bit bigger, blow on them gently till the twigs catch. Once your fire has really got going, add more wood from your stockpile. Now it's time to cook your damper!
Step 10: Cooking the Damper
Hold the damper over the flames until cooked through. Turn it often or it is likely to burn on one side. When it is cooked, slide it off the stick. It should come off quite easily, but watch out - it's very hot!
Step 11: Filling the Damper
Lastly, fill your damper! You can eat it plain if you like, but it's so much nicer with something inside. You can fill the hole in your bread with butter and jam, grated cheese, or whatever takes your fancy. It couldn't be easier to fill - just poke your filling down the hole as far as it will go on both sides. Your damper is ready to eat! If you enjoyed this instructable, please vote for me :) Have a great day!!
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