I have cooked this recipe a hundred of times and it is a real hit with kids and adults alike. Traditionally I have always used a camp oven but you can even cook this at home in your conventional oven. Eat with golden syrup or treacle.
4 cups of plain flour
8 heaped teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 heaped tablespoons of powdered milk
1 tablespoon of softened butter
half a teaspoon of salt
1½ cups of dried fruit
cold water as needed
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Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, ensuring that they are well blended together
Gently rub in the butter through the dried ingredients. Add the dried fruit and mix in well (just use your hands)
Make a well in the centre of the bowl and slowly add cold water mixing it through with a wooden spoon until you have a reasonably pliable dough, similar to the sort of dough that you would prepare for making scones. You've generally got it right when the dough comes away cleanly from the sides of your mixing bowl.
Lightly grease the inside of the camp oven or baking tray if using an oven.
Pre heat oven or camp oven to 220C. Note: This will be approximate with the camp oven and it is important to use a shovel so that an even quantity of coals from the fire can be placed underneath and on top.
Turn out the dough onto a floured board and knead gently. Note: the less you knead it, the better it will rise.
Shape the dough into a rough circle or loaf about 3cm thick.
Brush the top of the damper with a little powdered milk dissolved in water. This will ensure a nice golden crust on top.
Bake for approximately thirty minutes. You will know it is ready when you insert a wooden skewer or dry stick and it comes out clean - that is without anything stuck to it.
Carefully remove the damper from the oven, covering it with a dry tea towel, and allow the damper to rest in a warm place for about three to four minutes before serving.
Butter each slice, and smother with the golden syrup (or whatever) while the damper is still warm.
Make mini damper loaves
Instead of one large loaf, the may be split into four or six pieces to make individual servings, like bread rolls.
Camp oven tips
If cooking in a camp oven, brush away the remaining coals and ash from the top using a small leafy branch, or some long grass. This is to prevent the ashes falling into the pot when you remove the lid to put the dough in. A metal tent peg is good to lift the lid so that you don't burn yourself!