Riberry and Blue Cheese Damper

Serves: 6
Difficulty: 1hat
Ingredients
800g self raising flour
250ml milk (approximately – this changes with the humidity so plus or minus 50 ml)
a pinch of salt
50g Riberry Confit
100g blue cheese
Method
1. pre-heat the oven (and the camp oven, if you’re using one)
2. Sift the self raising flour and salt into a bowl
3. add milk to the flour and salt to make a soft dough without over-working the mix, it should be just incorporated and as airy as possible
4. add the riberries and coarsely broken up blue cheese to the dough
5. shape into a round loaf
6. sprinkle a little flour to the camp oven to check the heat and lessen the damper sticking or use a floured, shallow, 25cm round, cake tin if just oven baking
7. bake at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf makes a hollow sound when tapped or put the heated lid on the camp oven and either bake in the oven or place the camp oven onto hot coals and add more hot coals onto the lid; if there’s a wind blowing replace the coals regularly and pile up some extra hot coals on the lee side as this will cool off and make the baking un-even; also turn the camp oven to help distribute the heat

Styling

Serve hot or warm with or without butter and either pull apart to rough chunks for dunking or slice it up for spreading.

Notes
Damper was the mainstay of the early settlers in Australia. They used water, bi-carb and a coarse flour occasionally ‘stretched’ with flour milled from wild seeds or nuts. But Aborigines have been cooking this way for tens of thousands of years before them and they tool to wheat flour damper readily instead of collecting and milling the far more nutritious wild seeds (it was back-breaking, laborious work). To cook in, the settlers carried heavy, cast iron camp ovens* whereas the Aborigines had developed quite sophisticated baking methods using nothing more than an open fire, hot coals and the heated ground under the fire.

  • Cast iron camp ovens also often broke on the rough roads and to address this, a ringer from Bedourie Station developed a much lighter, pressed steel one, now known as a Bedourie oven.

 

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Dining Downunder Cookbook
This Australian recipe of Riberry and Blue Cheese Damper is included in the Dining Downunder Cookbook which can be purchased online at the Dining Downunder Online Shop. Also available online is a wide range of native Australian herbs and spices, sauces, syrups, infused oils and bush tucker ingredients such as wattleseed and paperbark rolls.

Vic Cherikoff