Celia Brook’s Damper

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Damper bread is probably a descendant of soda bread from Ireland, and this recipe glances back to the days of the Australian pioneers. How industrious they were—with no yeast and no oven, they could mix up flour, fat, water and a bit of bicarb in the flour sack, and without even a surface to knead on, the bread could be pulled together, then baked in the ashes of the fire. The modern addition of a little cheese and sage turns this into one blinding loaf, especially eaten hot with a smudge of butter in a cozy house full of the aromas of homebaking— divine.

Serves 8



335g self-raising wholemeal flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp soft butter

90g Gouda cheese, grated

3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1 tbsp dried sage

250ml milk, plus extra for glazing

2 tsp poppy seeds



  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Rub in the butter with your fingers until crumbly.
  2. Add the 2 cheeses and sage and mix thoroughly. Stir in the milk gradually until you have a dough. If the mixture is sticky, add a little more flour. If the mixture seems too dry and isn’t holding together, moisten with a little more milk until cohesive but not sticky.
  3. Turn out on a clean work surface and knead until fairly smooth for 2-3 minutes. Squash the dough into a flattened round approximately 18cm in diameter and 4cm thick. Use a long, sharp knife to cut almost all the way through the dough 4 times, making 8 wedges.
  4. Brush the top surface with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden and firm. Cool on a wire rack and eat warm, cold, or toasted, with butter.


Kenwood, the UK’s leading kitchen appliance expert, has launched its ‘Around the World in 80 Plates’ e-booklet to inspire our nation of food-lovers to be even more curious and adventurous with global cuisine. To find out more about Kenwood and the Around the World in 80 Plates list, visit http://www.kenwoodworld.com/uk

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