Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beer Damper

Beer Damper
Home Cooking

There's something really appealing about country-style food. I was leafing through a magazine recently (can't recall exactly what it was but there was a lot of celebrity gossip) when I stumbled upon a country-themed recipe section. Loads of good stuff: scones, chunky soup, pot pies etc.

When I think of country food, I'm thinking 'hearty', 'fresh' and lots of milk, eggs, cheese and herbs. Mmm... I spent a while copying out recipes by hand. One that I decided to follow through today was the beer damper recipe.

I must admit I have a bit of Chris-from-MasterChef in me... I think beer in food seems kind of quirky and interesting, rather than tacky. Besides, I did a quick Google search and beer damper is apparently quite traditional so I'm not just honing in on a fad.

I halved the original recipe when I made mine and ended up with a little cob loaf that serves about 2-3 people. You can double this recipe to make more.

Beer Damper

Serves 3

  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain flour (I used 1 cup plain and 1/2 cup wholemeal)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley (packed)
  • 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 a 375ml can of beer (about 180mL, I used VB)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds

1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together (word of warning: don't sift your wholemeal flour, if that's what you're using - I did this out of stupidity and all the husky bits got stuck in my flour sifter).
3. Stir in the Parmesan, parsley and caster sugar.4. Make a well and add beer. Mix gently (do not overmix). If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more flour until it comes together to a ball.5. Kneed the dough lightly on a floured surface. Form into a ball.
6. Place onto the tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Score the surface of the dough (I forgot to score mine but it came out OK).7. Bake for 35-40min until the top is golden and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it from the bottom.8. Cool for 5-10min before serving. Serve warm with butter.

I had a great time with this... I've mentioned in the past that nothing beats really good bread and butter. Simple but freaking awesome. This struck a note with me for similar reasons. I sliced my damper into wedges and had a couple of pieces slathered with butter. So good (not TOO unhealthy either because remember, we didn't add oil/butter to the dough).

We love our bread, we love our butter...

The texture is a bit like a savory scone, slightly sticky and moist. The crust is divine - cheesy and crunchy. When I took the bread out of the oven and cut it, the beer aroma was pretty heady and I got a bit anxious but the flavor of the beer isn't overpowering at all. Even the cheese and parsley flavors are subtle and just compliment the damper nicely.

Close-up shot, soaked in butter

I was going to have mine with a bowl of soup but I think it's great just on its own (with butter of course).


  1. Aye Cora that's looks mean as! Can't wait to show da kiwis here wot aussie cooking as all about!

  2. I've never heard of a Beer Damper, but this recipe looks like it would be perfect for dunking in a nice bowl of soup on a chilly night.

  3. looks good~! i love victoria bitter (my husband is from australia ^^) thanks for the recipe.