rosemary, onion & cheese damper

This is my first foray into savoury baking! There’s a long list of stuff I want to improve on and learn how to do, and baking bread is one of those things. Damper is a bread that’s just made with self-raising flour ie. there’s no yeast. I may be a biology student but baking with yeast is something I’m not brave enough to do just yet! I made this late one evening after work and it ended up being used the following night as little dumplings in a beef stew for dinner, which worked really well.

Please excuse the lack of decent photos in this post – along with bread baking I really want to improve my food photography and so I dug out my Dad’s fancy camera to try and take some photos of the damper as I was making it. I didn’t have much success; little lights kept flashing at me and only about 1 in 10 photos actually ‘took’ and saved. It was only when Dad got home (and the damper was in the oven) that he told me that the focus was broken and that was why I was having so much trouble! I’m thinking that with some of the money from my summer job I’ll buy myself a posh camera and I can use that to take photos for Tolley Bakes.

Anyways, that’s enough preamble for this post! This recipe is from my Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Bake’ cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 60g butter
  • 3 cups self-raising flour (450g)
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • approx. 100g grated cheese {I used a mixture of Parmesan and cheddar as that was all we had in the fridge!}
  • approx. 1.25 cups water (310ml)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan forced).

Peel the onion and dice it. Melt 15g of the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, and cook the onion for a few minutes until it softens. Leave it to cool.

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the remaining butter and rub it into the flour using your fingers, until you get a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs. Add the onion and chopped rosemary, and around 2/3 of the cheese.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the water little by little until you get a dough. Knead this until smooth (or do as I did, which was tip in all the water, then spend ages adding more flour until it’s sort of manageable). 
Oil a baking tray and put the dough onto it, patting it into a vague dome shape. Cut an X shape on top, before brushing a little milk or water over the surface. Cover with the rest of the cheese and bake in the oven for around 40 minutes. 
If using to make dumplings – just tear it into little bits. 
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