Damper with Rosemary and Olives

Damper is a traditional Australian bread that is cooked in an iron pot over hot coals. It was originally a mix of flour, water and salt, but these days we use self-raising flour or baking soda to make it rise. The name is thought to come from the damping of the fire to set the pot in the coals to bake.

500g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
50g cold butter
200ml milk
1 stalk rosemary, chopped finely
100g black olives, stoned and chopped

Place the flour, salt and rosemary in a bowl and add the butter, working it with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and bring together to form a dough, kneading it until its smooth.

Press it out and top with the olives, then fold over and knead until all the olives are combined. Make a round ball and flatten it. Press a wooden spoon handle into the dough to form triangles in the bread.

We cooked our damper in the Big Green Egg straight on the pizza stone, with the lid closed and the temperature at 180 – 200°C. You can also place it in an oiled pot on the fire or on a greased baking tray in the oven.

Bake for 40 minutes and serve hot with butter.

The Gardener