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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recipe: Traditional Aussie Damper {GLUTEN FREE!}

Gluten Free Damper Recipe - gluten free, egg free, clean eating friendly, Healthy Australian Recipes

Traditions are a funny thing, you know. 

I was talking to some friends about damper the other week and had a bit of a realisation. In case you don't know what damper is, it's a traditional campfire soda style bread that was originally prepared by swagmen and drovers and stockmen using the very basic rations they had. It's one of those iconic Australian foods that everyone only really eats once a year - or at a school camp. 

You see, when I was talking to my friends about damper - I realised that sometimes our traditional foods are actually ones that we'd never eat if they weren't tradition. 

All of the words used to describe damper were words we'd usually consider bad. It's not like normal bread whatsoever, it's kind of doughy with a crusty exterior and soft cakey middle - but it's a traditional recipe that people love. 

Gluten Free Damper Recipe - gluten free, egg free, clean eating friendly, Healthy Australian Recipes

I was curious to see if Jesse, being an American, would like this traditional Aussie fare and I was actually quite surprised to find that he did! Damper is one of those foods you just need to compare to itself - you can't compare it to a loaf of bread because it's not - you've just got to eat it warm, served with a bit of butter or maple syrup if you fancy.

Last year, when I did our Australian Week of Recipes for Australia Day, I found I got lots of emails asking if I could do a gluten free damper recipe - and to be honest, I kind of forgot until just recently when I remembered Australia Day was rolling around once again. 

Nevertheless, I've come up with a super simple damper recipe that works with both gluten free and regular flours - so you can enjoy a slice of your own ASAP! 

So let me share the recipe with you >> 

Gluten Free Damper Recipe - gluten free, egg free, clean eating friendly, Healthy Australian Recipes

Gluten Free Damper Recipe 
makes 8 mini damper rolls or one full sized damper loaf
gluten free, egg free, nut free 

3 cups (360g) gluten free plain flour*
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
80g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2-3/4 cup water

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside. 
In a food processor, pulse your flour, baking powder, salt and butter until your mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs and all of your chunks of butter have mixed through.
Add in 1/2 cup of water, pulsing until your mixture comes together.
If you damper mix is still too dry, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of water, using just as much as needed to form a dough. 
Take your mix out of your food processor and knead until combined and then shape into mini dampers or into one round loaf.
If desired, score the top of your damper(s) with a sharp knife.
Bake for 8-10 minutes (for mini dampers) or 20-30 minutes (for a full sized loaf) or until golden and the damper sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Serve warm on its own or with butter, maple syrup, honey, jam etc.

*It's important that you use a good plain flour mix - we love Orgran's Gluten Free Flours as they have the best taste when baked so that's what we recommend. Alternatively, if you don't need a gluten free damper use either 3 cups plain flour or 1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour and 1 1/2 cup plain flour. 

But tell me, what's your favourite "Aussie" recipe?
Or what's one traditional recipe you love from your home town?
PS: If there's any traditional recipe you'd like to see made-over on SIL, let me know! I love creating healthier or gluten free versions of everyone's favourite recipes! xx


  1. Very cute! Never heard of these before :D

  2. They are pretty cute - everything's better in mini form! :P

  3. I made this 5 years ago for our scout cook out night, for myself (I'm low FODMAP) and a scout who has coeliac disease, while the others made regular damper. It was so good, many parents were having some and commenting how good it was, lol. Now I have a 3 year old who is allergic to dairy, gluten and soy, so we're making this because it's nice and I can hardly find bread at the moment at the shops.
    Have you ever made this as a loaf and sliced it up? I'm keen to try, but worried it won't turn out good.

    1. Hey Joanne, I haven't tried it in a loaf but when damper is bigger it tends to get quite doughy in the middle so that might be an issue!

      Have you seen this recipe? It might work for you!


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