Dayna Hoskin really knows how to bake up a storm.
~Best Recipes

Swagmans Treat - Damper with Blackberry Jam

Damper is to Australia what Bagels are to America and Scones are to England.

Elegantly put by Wikipedia "Damper is a traditional Australian soda bread, historically prepared by swagmen, drovers, stockmen, and other travellers over hot coals"

I remember when I was in grade two, we were learning all about Australia and our culture. My dad was invited into class to introduce us all to the wonderful sounds of the didgeridoo, another parent taught us all how to make Damper, and I have been obsessed with Damper ever since. I would take it over a scone any day! but with its ingredient list consisting of just flour, butter, salt and water, it's not the most flavoursome dessert. So what ingredient could I add to it that was just as Australian to make it a kick ass dessert... Vegemite!!! I'm just kidding. Blackberries!!! Blackberries grow wild all over Australia, sure they're not native (they were introduced in the 1800's) and sure they're technically a 'weed' (invasive weed actually) but because they're everywhere, and because I grew up seeing them all over the outback, suburbia and the cities... they're Australian in my eyes.

#1 How much water a damper needs varies depending on the weather. For example, I required 1 whole cup of water today, it was 16 degrees Celsius. As the temperature rises, your butter will become softer and will work into the flour more, therefore you won’t require as much water to bring the dough together, in the colder weather, the butter remains solid and the water is your sole source of 'stick' for the dough.

#2 If you dough becomes sticky at any point in time, which could occur due to too much water being added, the butter melting as the dough is worked, or just due to the addition of the Jam! Simply use a desert spoon to sprinkle flour onto your damper and work it in gently. Repeat this step until your damper is once again dry to the touch.

#3 Don't overwork your damper. The damper gets it's traditionally flaky texture from tiny pockets of butter expanding and creating air pockets as it heats in the oven, if you work the butter into the dough too much your dough could become quite solid.

#4 Damper can be deceiving while baking, it may appear to be finished with it's golden crust, but before switching off your oven, turn your damper over and tap it on the base, it should sound hollow! If you'r unsure, pop it back in the oven for a little while longer, it's designed to be cooked over red hot coals, so don't be scared to form a but of a crust in order to allow it to cook through to the centre.

#5 If you would like to get fancy and carve a design, or mark out your servings into your damper dough (I usually just tear my damper apart along it's natural creases), coat a sharp knife in flour and slice into the dough, but keep it shallow! This indent will expand and become more prominent once the dough has expanded in the oven.

blackberry, damper, scones, rustic, bush cooking, Australian, tea desserts, baked goods, baking, cake, dessert, most popular,
Tea Time
Yield: 5Pin it

Swagmans Treat - Damper with Blackberry Jam

prep time: 20 minscook time: total time: 20 mins
Elegantly put by Wikipedia "Damper is a traditional Australian soda bread, historically prepared by swagmen, drovers, stockmen, and other travellers over hot coals"


3 cups self-raising flour (+ some for dusting)
1/2tsp salt
80g unsalted butter (small cubes)
3/4 - 1 cup water 

3tsp blackberry jam
(I could give you a recipe for Blackberry Compote here... but in true Damper spirit, we're keeping this one simple)


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius,

Line a baking tray and set aside.

Place flour (damper is supposed to be rustic, so I don't sift any of my ingredients) and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Introduce small cubes of butter into the flour and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and you can no longer feel chunks of butter.

Create a well in the centre of your flour mixture and pour roughly 1/4 cup of water in at a time, use your fingertips to loosely toss the water through the mixture, you want to avoid kneading at this point.

Once your dough has come together, (it shouldn't be at all sticky, we're about to add more moisture in the form of melted jam, so you want the dough to be border lining on too crumbly) move it to the benchtop and knead until the surface of your damper is somewhat smooth and there are minimal cracks.

Using your palm, beat your damper out flat, to about an inch thick.

Place 3tsp of Blackberry Jam into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir until smooth.

Spoon Blackberry Jam randomly (not in one big pool) onto the top of your flattened damper, fold all four sides of your damper in over the jam, and knead. Don't panic if some of the jam oozes out, as you knead it will pick it back up again. You don't want to knead it too much or you will lose the marbling effect. 

Once your Jam is spread throughout the damper, sprinkle your damper with a small amount of flour to coat it, pick up your dough and smack it to throw off any excess, and then begin to shape. Remember, damper is supposed to be rustic, don't stress to much about the shape it takes on, just let it form naturally.

Place in the oven to cook for 45 - 50minutes or until the crust is golden.
When damper is turned upside down and taped on the base, it should sound hollow.

Serve with Cream.


large mixing bowl 
microwave safe bowl
baking tray 
parchment of baking paper 

fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
protein (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator

Click the 'yum' button below to save this recipe to your Yummly app.
Be sure to send us a photo of your batch and let us know how ‘yummy’ it was!