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Camp Oven Damper; how to make it

Camp Oven Damper is one of life’s simple pleasures when you are in the middle of the bush. We’ve completely fallen in love with cooking with a camp oven, and thoroughly enjoy doing a range of different dampers when we head away.

Whether its plain damper with butter and jam, or apple and cinnamon damper, or even marshmallow and chocolate damper they are a quick, simple and easy way to fill the family up.

Damper when camping

Freshly made Damper

What do you need to make damper in a camp oven?

There’s lots of different recipes for making damper, and you can get away with very little. Of course, you need a fire, camp oven and a trivet makes life easier.

From there, self raising flour and water are the only two other ingredients you’ll need. We often substitute the water for milk, and others do it with beer, but self raising flour and a liquid of your choice will do the trick.

How do you make the damper?

The actual damper making is easy. Simply add the liquid to the flour, and mix it together. Don’t mix it too harshly though; its a gentle process to make the two items blend together, and you don’t need to do anything beyond that.

We generally use 2 – 3 cups of self raising flour, and a bit less milk, but just add the milk in slowly until you get the right consistency.

Making Damper

Mixing the ingredients together

From there, flatten the damper so its about 20mm thick, and dust it on both sides with self raising flour. 

Damper when camping

Damper ready to go in the camp oven

Ideally you’ve pre-heated your damper and you drop it in, ready to go.

Making damper

In the camp oven and onto the fire

How hot should your camp oven be?

The real trick to cooking on a fire is understanding how hot the food is, and how long you should leave it on.

Initially, start off with more heat on top of the camp oven than what you put underneath, and it doesn’t have to be searing hot. You’ll soon realise that you can always cook it for longer, but you can’t uncook burnt food. 

Cooking on the fire

Less heat is better than more

Yes, we’ve burnt more than our fair share of damper to work out how to do it, and are very familiar with cutting black chunks off to make the rest edible!

We generally find about 20 – 30 minutes is enough to cook the damper, and you can remove the camp oven lid at different intervals to ensure its not burnt. 

To guarantee its all cooked, stick a knife into the damper and you should be able to pull it out completely clean, with that fluffy feeling. If it comes out gooey, or sticky then you need to leave it in for longer.

When you are happy with it, pull it out, put the camp oven away from where kids can touch it, and cut your damper up. Serve it quickly so its still hot and steaming, and the butter melts. 

We’ll do damper for dessert, or even to replace bread in some instances (with a stew for example), but its such a simple, tasty and easy snack to make.

Apple damper

Serve it with butter and any other spreads you feel like

Have you made damper? Did your first attempt end up in a crisp like ours?!

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