Sunday, November 11, 2007

Damper

Damper is a bread from Australia. The are many recipes, but all are simple. It was made from staples that the swagmen had on hand when they were in the outback. Generally you would mix flour, salt, baking powder, butter (if available), and water/milk/beer to form a dough. Then it is cooked on the coals of a campfire. Any Aussie will tell you to drizzle honey or golden syrup on the damper and serve it with billy tea.

Billy tea is also prepared over a campfire. You boil water in a billy (can) and add a fistful of tea per person. In a minute when the tea is done, you grab the handle with a bandanna and swing the hot can around in a circle. Really this is just for show, you could just as easily let the it sit for a few minutes to settle the leaves. Though swinging the billy in circles works, even if it is a bit dangerous.

For my damper, I used the following recipe:

2 cups of flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp (scant) salt
1 T melted Earth Balance
3/4 cup beer (approximate start with less and add until dough is smooth)

Mix, knead, flatten into a circle on the cookie sheet, and then bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Damper
Damper sliced with agave drizzled on top

Here's an old photo of me (40 pounds ago!) enjoying billy tea in the Australian rain forest. It is way too early in the morning for me which explains my happy demeanor. Yes, our guide did actually swing the billy around the campfire!

6 comments:

urban vegan said...

Very educational! Those Aussies are so resourceful.

You are so adorable with your billy tea--I'm jealous of your trip to Asutralia!

Ashasarala said...

Billy tea sounds like a fun experience. I wanna have a go at it!

bazu said...

I love hearing more about your trip to Australia! And as usual, your blog is educating me- I've never heard of Damper or Billy Tea- a neat take on tea and scones, that's for sure! Me wanty!

Dori said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip to the land down under..... and forty pounds ago, wow girl. The empanada's above look delicoiusly awesome! My family loves anything cooked ina pocket and for some odd reason that I cannot identify I seem not to make them very often.

Happy Holidays to you!

Theresa said...

Hey, I'm an aussie vegan and I just found your blog. Thanks for the vegan damper recipe, I'll have to give it a try. Were you up in the daintree in the photo, or kimberleys, or ...?

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