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Breads of the World

Damper Bread, Australia

Australian Damper is a traditional bread that originated with the early colonial settlers and bushmen in Australia. Made from basic ingredients like flour, water, and salt, this simple bread was a staple for those travelling or working in remote areas due to its ease of preparation and minimal ingredient requirements. Traditionally, Damper was baked directly in the ashes of a campfire, giving it a distinct, slightly smoky flavour and a crunchy crust. Modern versions often include baking powder to help it rise and are baked in ovens or camp ovens.

Damper holds a special place in Australian culture, symbolising the resourcefulness and resilience of the early settlers. Today, it is often enjoyed with golden syrup, butter, or as an accompaniment to hearty stews and soups. Its simplicity and cultural significance make it a beloved and iconic Australian food.

Australian Damper Bread



  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk (or water)

A wide variety of quality ingredients for our recipes are available from Arkadia supermarkets in Malta and Gozo, including Arkadia FoodExpress Swatar and Arkadia Food Market Valletta.


1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. If you have a camp oven or Dutch oven, you can use that for a more authentic taste.

2. In a large bowl, mix the self-raising flour and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

3. Gradually add the milk (or water), mixing with a knife or your hands until the dough comes together. It should be soft but not sticky.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a minute until smooth. Shape the dough into a round loaf about 20 cm in diameter.

5. Place the loaf on a baking tray lined with baking paper. If using a camp oven, place the dough directly in it. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the loaf with an "X" to help it cook evenly.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom and is golden brown on top.

7. Let the damper cool slightly on a wire rack and serve warm, sliced with butter, golden syrup, or as an accompaniment to soups and stews.

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