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Damper - Johnny Cakes

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Here's my recipe for damper, which I make into Johnny Cakes. Actually I've never had a recipe, I've just made them off the cuff, but this time I did some measurements so I could share them. When you know what you're aiming for you can just throw flour and water in until it looks right for whatever volume you want.

The exact measurements may vary each time depending on the flour available, but here goes:

300g Self Raising Flour (2 cups)
200ml Water (approx)

(As you can see this is a traditional damper made only with flour and water)

I started by adding 150ml of water to the flour and mixed it by hand in a bowl.
IMAG0169.jpg

This mix was too dry:
IMAG0170.jpg

so I added another 50ml of water and mixed it in (making the total water added 200ml). This was a bit wet and sticky, but the dough had come together.
IMAG0171.jpg

At this point I had to do some running around and I knew that if I left the dough to sit, the stickiness would disappear and the dough would come together even better. I could have added a bit more flour if I wanted to use it straight away, or more water if it was too dry.

When I got back I broke the dough in half, and formed each half into 6 golf ball sized balls.
IMAG0172.jpg

I pre-heated a non-stick pan (I usually use cast iron if I'm on a fire), and when it was hot, I turned the heat down low.

I put some of the dough balls onto the pan, then pressed them out flat (about 1 cm thick)
IMAG0173.jpg

All up they were cooked for about 10 minutes, I flipped them over few times; tapping them with the back of my finger nail until they sounded hollow.

IMAG0174.jpg

Then cut in half and butter and golden syrup added. (If you cut one and its still a bit wet in the middle, just put it back onto the pan for a few more minutes – no harm done)
IMAG0175.jpg

YUM.


For a bit of fun I decided to make a few cinnamon Johnny Cakes with some of the remaining dough,
so I rolled some of the balls out and sprinkled cinnamon (powder) and sugar onto them. I wet the top surface of the dough with some water (could also use milk or butter if you like) so that the cinnamon and sugar would stick a bit better,
then rolled them into small scrolls:
IMAG0176.jpg

As before I pressed them flat (approx 1cm) and cooked them for about 10 minutes, flipping them several times.
The sugar will tend to caramelize and go black, but if you keep the heat low, they will not burn.
IMAG0177.jpg

These are great plain, or buttered.
IMAG0179.jpg

If you're not a damper maker, hopefully I've inspired you to give it a try. There are 1001 variations and twists and lots of ways to cook them too - see what you can come up with.

Enjoy
 

Moondog55

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You cheated!!
You used Self Raising flour.
SR Flour wasn't available in the early days.
So in my opinion not a true and traditional "Damper" as talked about in the other thread.
But they do look good, may I suggest using a lid to trap the heat for the next batch, they will cook a little quicker and rise a little higher
 

Corin

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Thanks for sharing! I will give these a go with the kids for sure.
 

Bartnmax

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The formula is pretty basic & easy to make but it can also be easilly modified.
Add a pinch of salt & use milk instead of water & you've got your basic scone mix.
You can also add a pinch of bicarb soda for 'lighter' cakes.
Then there's other ingredients such as raisons, etc or you can even add a little mashed pumpkin to the mix.
The mixtures you cxan use are pretty much endless.

Must admit I do love cinnamon & honey with em tho.
Also brilliant with thinly sliced banana inside em.

Bill A.
 

Aussie123

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You cheated!!
You used Self Raising flour.
SR Flour wasn't available in the early days.

Don't say I can't take a hint ! I made a new batch with P L A I N flour. Same recipe as above.
IMAG0184.jpg IMAG0185.jpg

They turned out, with a texture and taste identical (IMO) to the version using SR flour.
IMAG0186.jpg

I suspect that for this style of damper the SR bit plays little role; but if you wanted to make a loaf of bread style damper, then you'd probably need the SR flour or some baking soda etc rising agent.

PS - Kids and DW agree that there was no noticeable difference between SR flour and plain flour Johnny Cakes, but as DW says: "Anything served warm and covered in golden syrup is going to taste good ! "
- “Oh Really” - me thinks …. !

PPS - I usually use SR flour, because, when camping I only want to take one flour, and SR is best for scones or bread
 

Kindliing

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I’m interested in all these at the moment too . Especially experimenting the bush pizza recipes ,with some caught or foraged food added .

watched an old Malcolm Douglas vid on YouTube and wrote down his bread recipe from this vid . Didn’t have yeast today so cooked damper in camp oven .
going to try the bread soon .




Malcolm Douglas bread recipe :

10 x cups of plain flour .

4 x tablespoon of raw sugar .

4 x tablespoon yeast .

3 x tablespoon salt .

make water just warm .

mix until sloppy , just sticking to spoon when you scoop it up.

cover the mix (tea towel) etc . allow to rise for 45 min .

dust dry flour on and knead for 10 - 15 minutes .

the more times you ‘knock it down’ the fluffier / lighter the loaf will be .

cut loaf into 4 quarters , place in camp oven for approx 45 minutes .

He cooked damper too that was an easy recipe I may as well add that here also .

——————————————-

Malcolm Douglas damper .

Self raising flour .

Pinch of salt .

water .



Then he showed 3 ways of cooking the damper in this episode .



One cooked straight in the ashes , dust damper with flour before hand .

One cooked in a pan covered in ashes , dust damper with flour before hand also ,
and
One cooked in the camp oven .

he put oil on his hands before he kneads the mix btw so it didn’t stick .
 
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Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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Here was his follow up episode where he cooked bush scones and fruit cake if anyone was interested .

cooking starts about 9.25 in this vid after he catches a croc .
 

Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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He doesn’t seem to have brought a cookbook out that I could see online .

he showed us all how to make them so I’ll put the recipes here so they’re written down .

would have been a good book that would sell too , good to have something nice to eat using ingredients you can keep out bush .

Malcolm Douglas scones .

2 x cups self raising flour .
Sieve flour to aerate .

1/4 teaspoon salt .

1 cup powdered milk .

bit of melted butter .

handful sultanas .

add warm water .

mix into dry flour and knead .

little oil in bottom of camp oven .

preheat camp oven .

cut scones from mix .

glaze tops with ( butter ?)

when done add golden syrup .
 

Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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Malcolm Douglas

fruit and nut cake .

(no eggs or butter needed in the bush for this )

2 cups flour (sieve )

tablespoon caster sugar .

a bit of mixed spices , maybe half a spoon a bit less ?.

add sultanas , raisins , break/ chop them up , the nuts too .

Small cup of powdered milk in warm water .

add about a tablespoon of golden syrup into the milk .

stir milk into the cake mix .

pour into camp oven , place in coals until ready / about 40 minutes .
 
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Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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Malcolm Douglas

Johnny cakes .

2 cups self raising flour .

bit of salt

some milk powder ( couple of scoops with big spoon ) .

a few sultanas if you have them (not a necessity).

Make a sloppy mix .

plenty of oil in frying pan .

pour in mix , turn over when ready .

then remove and pour on golden syrup .
 

Kindliing

Les Hiddins
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I’m interested in all these at the moment too . Especially experimenting the bush pizza recipes ,with some caught or foraged food added .

watched an old Malcolm Douglas vid on YouTube and wrote down his bread recipe from this vid . Didn’t have yeast today so cooked damper in camp oven .
going to try the bread soon .




Malcolm Douglas bread recipe :

10 x cups of plain flour .

4 x tablespoon of raw sugar .

4 x tablespoon yeast .

3 x tablespoon salt .

make water just warm .

mix until sloppy , just sticking to spoon when you scoop it up.

cover the mix (tea towel) etc . allow to rise for 45 min .

dust dry flour on and knead for 10 - 15 minutes .

the more times you ‘knock it down’ the fluffier / lighter the loaf will be .

cut loaf into 4 quarters , place in camp oven for approx 45 minutes .

He cooked damper too that was an easy recipe I may as well add that here also .

——————————————-

Malcolm Douglas damper .

Self raising flour .

Pinch of salt .

water .



Then he showed 3 ways of cooking the damper in this episode .



One cooked straight in the ashes , dust damper with flour before hand .

One cooked in a pan covered in ashes , dust damper with flour before hand also ,
and
One cooked in the camp oven .

he put oil on his hands before he kneads the mix btw so it didn’t stick .
Cooked this Malcolm Douglas bread recipe in the camp oven today .
Halved the amount of ingredients he used and it was still a very large loaf in the camp oven .
The birds will be eating well .

Ate with some margarine and honey and it was nice .

I used a small white 4 lt food grade bucket with lid to mix it all, rise it etc in .

can knead it between your feet ( in the bucket with your hands )
while sitting in a camp chair .
it was just big enough for those halved amount of ingredients when it rose .
Therefore no cling wrap needed for while it is rising either as it has a lid .

the good thing about the bucket idea is -
If you use a 5 or 6 lt bucket with a lid which I now will after learning ,

it can carry all of the ingredients inside , then be used to mix it all when you get to camp .

if you use the 5 or 6 lt bucket it can fit the 2kg flour , sugar , yeast , salt and even some oil for your hands in a pill container with a screw lid if you want .

I also wrote the bread recipe on the lid too with permanent marker , so I won’t forget , now it’s Just a pack the bucket and good to go deal .
 
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