Whenever we are camped somewhere that we can have a fire I love being able to make a Camp Oven Damper. Damper is an Australian tradition. Originally made from plain flour and water, it was often a staple food of many a stockman or swaggie. Sometimes if they were available, a handful of sultanas might have been added to the mix. Most times it was left plain and used to mop up a plate of stew.
My recipe comes from my 1976 copy of the Country Women’s Association (C.W.A) Coronation Cookery Book. I actually won this book as a prize in their Land Cookery Competition. I think I was about nine years old and I would never part with it!
If we are only doing a short trip, I usually measure out the ingredients before we leave. I store them in a plastic container or a clip seal bag to save on space. Make sure you remember to pack the Golden Syrup as it just works so well on damper.
CAMP OVEN DAMPER
3 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
Add about half the milk to the flour and mix with a knife, adding more milk until the dough comes away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to use all the milk as this may make the dough to wet.
Line the bottom of a camp oven with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour onto the foil to help stop the damper from sticking.
Place the dough into the camp oven with the lid on and place on the edge of the fire with a scoop of hot coals on the lid. Cook for about 30 minutes. Rotate the camp oven after 15 minutes to ensure the damper cooks evenly. Check damper after 30 minutes and if it is brown on top and sounds hollow when you tap it, then it is cooked. If not return to fire for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with butter and golden syrup and enjoy!