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Damper Bread

This easy Damper Bread with olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese is so delicious I just can’t stop eating it!

The best thing is it’s so quick to mix together and perfect to go with Chicken Vegetable soup or Greek Couscous Salad. My husband’s favorite way to eat this damper is dipping into extra virgin olive oil.

Damper bread on wooden board with knife, white dish of olive oil, dish clot in the background.

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What is damper bread?

Damper is the Australia bush bread. Traditionally baked in a camp oven over coals. A camp oven is a cast iron pot with a lid. Basically it’s a dutch oven. The traditional damper bread recipe is simply flour, salt and water. The basics that every drover, stockman or outback traveller carried.

I have fond memories of baking easy damper bread at primary school and eating it with lots of sticky, golden syrup. This was certainly not something I ate at home so it always seemed so much more fun and tasty. My school teacher got right into the whole Australian theme by lighting a fire and baking the damper bread in the camp oven. It was crispy on the outside and soft and tender inside. We always had billy tea with our bread and hanging on a tree was the canvas water bag for a cool drink. The canvas water bag was designed to be used in the Australian Outback with the moist canvas keeping the water cool.

Ball of damper dough on aluminum round tray viewed from above.

Why you’ll this recipe

My recipe for easy damper bread with olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese was created out of necessity. Modern necessity. I wanted bread to go with my soup and I didn’t have a lot of time so a yeast bread was out of the question. This easy damper recipe is basically a quick bread – quick to mix and quick to bake. And just like a traditional quick bread, it uses basic ingredients you may have in your pantry and refrigerator.

  • flour
  • salt
  • cheese – I used mozzarella but you can substitute whatever you have
  • bottled black olives – green would be fine
  • bottled sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • milk or you can use water

Of course, you can personalise your damper bread any way you like. Substitute the olives and sun dried tomatoes for something else – maybe bacon or pepperoni, herbs or garlic, add lightly fried mushrooms. However I think some sort of cheese is always delicious whether it be Parmesan, fontina or feta.

Baked damper wrapped in cream tea towel viewed from above.

Why not make this easy damper bread with olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese this weekend. You can check out my soup or salad recipes to go with this delicious quick bread. Or why not try my Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad and my Chicken Pizzaiola?

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Damper on wooden board with knife and white dish of olive oil and white and red tea towel in the background.

Damper Bread Recipe

This damper bread is filled with delicious Mediterranean flavors and is perfect with a bowl of soup or packed into a picnic hamper.
4.88 from 16 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings:8
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • cups self raising flour see note 1
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese see note 2
  • ½ cup pitted and chopped black olives see note 3
  • cup sun dried tomatoes in oil drained and chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup oil from sun dried tomatoes or olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Dust a baking tray generously with flour or line with non stick baking paper
  • Mix together flour, salt, cheese, olives and sun dried tomatoes.
  • Gently stir in milk and oil until combined and you have a slightly sticky dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 20 seconds and form into a ball.
  • Place the ball onto the floured tray. Flatten slightly.
  • Cut a cross into the top of the dough.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until thoroughly cooked through. Check by inserting the blade of a knife into the damper bread. If uncooked dough is on the blade cook for 5 more minutes. There will be cheese sticking to the blade of the knife. That's ok.
  • Wrap in a tea towel to cool to retain moisture. Serve warm or cool.
  • Best eaten the day of baking.

Notes

  1. Self raising flour can be substituted with 2 1/2 cups of all purpose plain flour plus 5 teaspoons of baking powder.
  2. Your favorite cheese can be used in place of mozzarella cheese – try fontina, cheddar, or feta cheese.
  3. Green olives can also be used.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 535mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 4.7mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating




17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    How delicious! I love homemade bread, especially when it is as easy as this damper! Love the flavour combination.

      1. Hello, I don’t have self raising floor, but I do have regular bread flour. What do I need to add for it to raise & the quantity to add… I meant if I’ve to substitute it self raising flour with baking powder or yeast in the regular bread flour.

        1. Hi Jyothi, thanks for reaching out! This is a quick bread that really needs soft flour such as all purpose or self raising. I have never substituted bread flour but you may be able to use it. However, I think the result would not be quite the same – the bread would have a chewy texture, I think. If you go ahead you would need to add baking powder. Check your box of baking powder for the correct amounts. In Australia, I would need 5 teaspoons for 2 1/2 cups of flour.

          If you want to use yeast, then that will change this recipe altogether. In that case, why not try my Cheese Bread https://www.marcellinaincucina.com/cheese-and-bacon-twist-bread-wi/

          Hope this helps.

  2. I c an just picture ‘putting the billy on’ and having this damper with my tea! I love the idea of making bread without using yeast!

  3. I’m another one who has never heard of damper so I appreciated your explanation. Your bread looks great and would be a delicious addition to a meal.

  4. Thanks for explaining what a damper is! Never heard of it. Surprised there isn’t wattleseed in it! Love your add-ins. That’s exactly what I like to do with yeasted breads!

  5. I’ve never heard of a damper before… looks so easy and, with the olives and tomatoes, savory! Although I like the idea of golden syrup on a plain damper!