Daring Bakers – Damper

“No yeast and can’t take more than 1.5 hours to prepare and bake through”. That was the gist of this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge (hosted by Lisa of Lis! who stepped in at the last minute – thanks muchly!) which called for something quick to bake. I’m not sure about my fellow bakers from other lands but to this Aussie, this sounded like an opportunity to make damper!

I haven’t baked damper for the longest time. The last time would have been during a school camp when an open fire and correct equipment were on hand. I can’t say I’ve seen damper being sold in shops in recent years either. Over ten years ago I very much enjoyed a Spinach and Feta Damper that the local Brumby’s bread shop sold when the franchise first started up in WA and their product range was actually interesting (anyone remember their hazelnut brioche loaves?).


It’s a shame damper is so underrated at the moment but fortunately it is very easy to make and enjoy at home. Damper is basically a soda bread traditionally cooked over coals or a camp fire. It was (and probably still is) the staple of Australian stockmen and drovers and also prepared by our indigenous people using native seeds and the like. Plain damper is often eaten with a good lashing of golden syrup. I think butter should be thrown in too :)

For this challenge, I decided to use up some ingredients that had been lying around idly and baked up a savoury damper flavoured with goats cheese and caramelised onion. I used my Thermomix to prepare the dough but given how easy damper is to make, you can easily get the ingredients together in a bowl and apply some elbow grease to make a good dough.


Goats Cheese & Caramelised Onion Damper

Note: I used Beerenberg Farm’s caramelised onion but you can make your own with my recipe for Caramelised Shallots, but using onions instead although shallots would work really nicely too!

60g soft goats cheese/curd
160g milk
2 tbsp caramelised onion
1 tsp baking powder
290g plain flour
pinch of salt and pepper

To Make: Pre-heat oven to 190C. Warm milk, goats cheese and onions together in Thermomix on 50C, Speed 1 for 4 minutes. Add flour, salt/pepper and baking powder to bowl and use kneading function to combine ingredients. Dough should be easy to remove from bowl. If it’s too sticky, add 20g of flour and knead again until manageable. Place rounded ball of dough into a small pan (round or loaf) lined with baking paper and bake for 35-40 minutes. You’ll be able to smell the onion as it’s nearly ready :) Remove from oven when done and allow to cool. Slightly. Slice and enjoy.



  1. anuja

    February 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    This is something new and surely now on my “to-do” list. Thanx for sharing this recipe.

    • Monica

      February 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Thanks for stopping in :) It’s a very simple recipe which was just as well since I was rather hungry!

  2. Korena

    February 28, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Goats cheese and caramelized onion sounds like a delicious combination!

    • Monica

      February 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

      It worked quite well in the damper if I may say so :) Just cool to be able to use up stuff in the fridge!

  3. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    February 28, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Wow I haven’t made damper since school when we went on camps! Your damper really looks fabulous. I might have to give it a try again.

    • Monica

      February 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

      I know! It’s just not on people’s radar I guess, being city folk :| I’d love to make some plain damper and get the golden syrup out :D

  4. Jo

    February 28, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Your damper looks great, and what a perfect flavor combination!

    • Monica

      February 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Thanks :) I rather enjoyed it with my ham :D

  5. Ruth H.

    February 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I have never heard of damper before, but I am intrigued. I love the idea of a bread cooked in the coals… great for a cookout! Thank you for sharing your work and your memories!

    • Monica

      February 28, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Thanks for your comment :) I wished I could make a camp fire in the garden to do this properly but no coals! Damper is not the fluffiest bread in the world but quite moreish.

  6. Sandie

    February 28, 2012 at 10:50 am

    Never heard of Dampers before; I was almost hoping you were going to say you cooked yours over an open fire! Well done. Best, Sandie

  7. Vicky

    February 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    What a perfect flavor combination – goat cheese and caramelized onions! Think I’ll try making this with caramelized shallots!

    • Monica

      March 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you :) It’s a hard combo to beat!

  8. Carol Anne @ Rock Salt

    February 29, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I love the flavours, savoury quick bread is so satisfying. Will be putting damper on my list of breads to try this year!

    • Monica

      March 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Hope you can try damper some time. I am looking forward to more savoury breads over winter :D

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