Project - A Simple Home Cooked Damper

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Aussie123

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Project: Cooking a simple damper

Author: Aussie123

Description:
This project shows how to make a simple damper at home, using a traditional recipe.

Tools Required:
- Mixing bowl and mixing spoon
- Measuring cup and measuring spoon
- A stove top or other suitable heat source
- Frypan (preferable non-stick)
- A flipping device (to assist in cooking)
- A camera to record your results


Materials:
- 1 cup of Plain flour (any type: white, wholemeal or gluten free)
- 2 teaspoons of Baking Powder (any brand) - Follow the quantity recommendations on the packet
- Pinch of Salt
- A third to half a cup of Water

TIP: Why not use Self Raising Flour ? Self Raising flour is basically just plain flour, with baking powder already added.
Baking powder is a raising agent, in other words it helps to make the damper lighter in texture by producing small amounts of CO2 gas which forms bubbles in the mix; in bread making, yeast is used as the raising agent.
This is a simple, traditional recipe and in the past, only plain flour was available and people had to add their own raising agents, so that's what we're doing here !

Reference Materials:
- An internet search will reveal a wealth of information and recipes for damper.

Skills required:
- Ability to measure and mix ingredients accurately
- Ability to judge and adjust the amount of water to make a damper dough
- Basic food handling hygiene
- Safety considerations for using a stove

Time needed: About half an hour.

Learning Outcomes:
- How to make a simple, traditional damper
- Judge the amount of water required to make a dough
- Adjust the heat to cook the damper through without burning the outside

Assessment Criteria:
To successfully complete this project you must present a picture of your damper cut in half which shows:
- The outside is NOT burnt
- The inside is completely cooked through


Optional Assessment Criteria:
Show the damper with your favourite topping !



Instructions :

Wash your hands.
Clean a suitable area to work in which is free of clutter, is clean and safe to work in.
Gathering the ingredients and all the utensils you will need
P1300100 (Small).jpg

1. Dry mixing
- Add a cup of plain flour to the bowl
P1300101 (Small).jpg

- Then the baking powder. (Follow the instructions on the baking powder to determine the correct amount to add, but it should be around two teaspoons per cup of flour)
- A pinch of salt
P1300102 (Small).jpg

Mix all the dry ingredients so that the are completely combined, the baking powder and salt must be evenly mixed through the flour. There should be no lumps of unmixed flour.


2. Add water
Be cautious with the water addition.
To make this traditional damper, we want to make a dough which we can handle, NOT a runny batter like a pancake !

Start by adding 1/3 cup of water and mixing it in. Keep mixing until it is evenly distributed.
P1300103 (Small).jpg

If it looks like this, the mix is too dry :
P1300104 (Small).jpg



You will need to add more water, add half your remaining water and keep mixing.
If the mix is still too dry, add the rest of the water.

It is not possible to be exact with water additions because different flours will absorb water a little differently, so some trial and error is required.

TIP: If your mix becomes too wet, leave it for 5 minutes and see what it is like. You may need to add flour a teaspoon at a time to dry it out.


3 Form the dough
When your damper mix starts to form a dough it will look like this.
P1300105 (Small).jpg
Mix a little longer and it should "come together". Then you can pick it up and form it into a ball. Its a bit like slightly sticky play dough !
P1300106 (Small).JPG

4. Cooking
Place your pan on the stove top to start to heat it up.
I'm not using any oil or butter etc. because I'm using a non-stick pan.

TIP: If you want stainless steel or cast iron pan that's OK. Dust a little flour onto the hot pan before you put the damper on, so it won't stick.

Put the dough onto the pan and press it down to about 1 to 2 cm thickness. I used my fingers, but beware of the hot pan.
P1300109 (Small).jpg

As soon as you have put the dough on, TURN the HEAT DOWN to a low setting.
P1300108 (Small).jpg

Turing the heat down will allow the damper to cook through slowly, rather than burn on the outside and be raw in the centre !

TIP: If you see any whisps of smoke, your stove is too hot. Turn it down to low.


The damper will take about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
TIP: Exact cooking times will depend on how hot your pan is, and the amount of damper you have made

TIP: Traditionally damper were made fairly flat, so the heat can penetrate and they could cook through more easily.

Use your flipper to look underneath and check that it is not burning (or going too dark brown). Turn down the heat if necessary. A lower heat means that it will take longer to cook, but it won't burn !


After about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, flip it over and cook the second side for a similar (or slightly shorter) time.
P1300110 (Small).jpg


5. Testing

After 3 minutes on the second side, check that the second side is browning nicely. Tap on the damper to listen to see if it sounds hollow
P1300111 (Small).jpg

After four or five minutes, your damper should sound hollow and be browned, but not blackened on the outside.

6. Eating

Cut the damper in half.
P1300112 (Small).jpg

Take a picture showing that the inside is cooked evenly through, and the outside is not burnt.
If it is not cooked properly, or if the outside is burnt you cannot pass the assessment. You will have to try again !
P1300113 (Small).jpg

TIP: If you want to salvage your under-cooked damper, either put the two halves together and return it to a low heat to finish cooking; or put the two "wet" halves face down onto a low heat to cook them through. This means that you can still eat your project, but this is considered a "fail" for this assessment !
P1300114 (Small).jpg


Cleanup :
Put away the ingredients you have gotten out. Clean and put away the mixing bowl and all other utensils you have used.
Remember to wipe down the bench too.


FAQ:
 
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Aussie123

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Sample Assessment for : Home Primer - Subject 13 – A Simple Home Cooked Damper

Sample Assessment for: A Simple Home Cooked Damper

Student: Aussie123

Date: This project was completed on 21/07/2013

Picture 1 Showing: A damper, cut in half with NO burning on the outside
P1300113 (Small).jpg


Picture 2 Showing: A damper, cut in half the inside is completely cooked
P1300112 (Small).jpg

Optional Assessment Criteria: A damper with my favourite topping - Butter and Golden Syryp !
P1300115 (Small).jpg
 
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