There are lots and lots of recipes on the internet for making damper. Most of them require you to use lots of ingredients and work the dough for a few minutes.
When you work damper too much it pushes all of the air out and makes the damper dense. So, with some trial and error, we came up with what we think is the best way to cook damper in a camp oven.
We have lost count how many times we have prepared this version of the damper. However, no matter how many times we cook this recipe it turns out perfect – crunchy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.
This is a revised version of Nick’s Perfect Damper recipe which appeared in the Cast Iron Boys Camp Oven Recipes cookbook. Unfortunately, this book is no longer available, but you can see other damper recipes and more on the Camp Oven Cook website.
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- Pinch of salt
With generic brand self-raising flour costing less than $1/kg, baking damper and other bread in your camp over is a cost-effective way to feed the family. A loaf of damper can come in at less than $0.30/loaf!
How to make damper:
In a bowl, add 2 cups of self-raising flour and a pinch of salt.
Slowly add water until the ingredients start to combine and form a dough.
Mix. Don’t knead!
This is the most important step as you don’t want to actually knead the dough – you just want to leave it as it is. Using your hands, cup it and slowly work the dough until you get a nice round damper shape.
Place the damper onto a lightly floured trivet covered with foil and put the lid on the camp oven.
Time to put this bun in the oven!
Cook for about 20 – 25 minutes. In the image below I’m using heat beads and a 9QT oven. I use around 10 heat beads on the bottom and 14 on the top with this camp oven.
Don’t cook over an open flame. Just let the hot coals, or in this case head beads, do the work.
When it’s ready, your damper will sound hollow when tapped, then you’re ready to serve it up with your favourite spreads.
How good does that look? Time to apply lashings of your favourite spread or topping.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get the perfect damper crust?
As long as you get your heat control right you shouldn’t have a problem getting a crusty damper. However, camp ovens tend to retain moisture and when they do it can be hard to get crunchy vegetables, perfect crackling, or nice and crunchy damper. The best way to release moisture is to crack the lid by placing a piece of wire or something similar, to allow the steam to escape.
Should I preheat my camp oven when cooking damper?
Some say you should. Some say you shouldn’t. I don’t preheat my camp oven when making damper.
What’s the best spread to use on my damper?
That’s an easy question to answer, on a plain damper you can’t go past a good smothering of butter or margarine and maple syrup. Experiment with your favourite spreads. Why not vegemite, hummus, jam, honey..? Try what you enjoy.
How big should my campfire be?
You don’t generally use the fire to cook with, you use the coals. If you are using coals, shovel them on the ground, place your camp oven down and add some coals on top.
How long does damper keep for?
Damper goes stale really quickly, so because it’s so quick and cheap to make, prepare it as you need it. Why not a fresh loaf every day?
How versatile is damper?
Once you master making a plain damper, don’t be scared to experiment with other ingredients. I love adding bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce for a savoury damper. For a sweet damper, I add sultanas, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Once you’ve mastered damper for dinner, make sure you follow through at breakfast time with the perfect camping pancake recipe.
What amazing flavour combinations have you created with your damper?
About the writer...
Mick is the bloke behind The Camp Oven Cook. What he doesn’t know about camp oven cooking probably isn’t worth knowing! You can catch more recipes from him at thecampovencook.com.au