Pumpkin Damper

Pumpkin Damper

Posted 2016-08-22 by Roy Chambersfollow
Dampers are a quick and easy way to make your own deliciously flavoured bread at home. Being a quick bread, dampers are not as light as breads that use yeast, but you can compensate by adding other ingredients such as sweet potato , zucchini, cheese , and for this recipe, pumpkin.

I would recommend using the more flavoursome Kent pumpkin rather than the more lightly flavoured butternut pumpkin. This lets you have the most flavour for the least pumpkin. Personally I usually just use whatever type of pumpkin is on special at the markets.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Makes: One damper large enough for 8 slices

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (if needed)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
30 grams of butter, softened
No more than 1/2 cup pumpkin, cooked and mashed
Up to 1/4 cup of milk, as needed

  • Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.

  • Chop the softened butter into small cubes and add to the flour mix.

  • Using your hands, combine the butter with the flour. The result will make the flour look like fine grained sand.

  • Chop and cook the pumpkin. Boiling is okay, but steaming will leave the pumpkin a little drier. Roasting is even better as the pumpkin will be the most dry and have that lovely roasted flavour as well.

  • Mash the pumpkin, You don't want more than a 1/2 cup of pumpkin, but it can be hard to estimate until it is mashed. I normally cook more than I need and reserve the rest for another recipe such as these pumpkin and apple muffins . After mashing remove the pumpkin from the bowl using a fork help drain the pumpkin a little.

  • Add the pumpkin to the flour mix and combine as thoroughly as possible.

  • At this stage it may look a little dry, but actually in the photo below there was already too much liquid, so I had to add a little more flour. You will see for sure when you start to knead the bread.

  • Coat your hands with a little flour, press and knead the dough together.

  • If the damper is too dry and cracks when you knead it, you can simply add a little milk. Add it one tablespoon at a time while you continue to knead. If it is too sticky and clings to your fingers, then simply add some more flour.

  • Form the damper into a nice round ball.

  • Put the damper on a sheet of baking paper on an oven proof tray. Shape the damper into the shape you prefer. In this case I have made it into a nice flat disk. You can also make it into a more rounded ball shape if you prefer.

  • Dust with the top with flour to give it a nice rustic look.

  • As the damper cooks it will try and expand in all directions. However the cooking process will form a hard crust which means it will have to give in some way, usually making it rise in a misshapen form. To aid the even expansion you will need to scour the top of the damper.

  • In this example I have made 4 shallow cuts across the top of the damper. If you want the damper to pull apart in your hands, then make deep cuts.

  • Bake for 30 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius. To test that the damper is properly cooked inside, poke it with a thin metal skewer. If it is not cooked properly, a little bit of dough will stick to the skewer. When it is cooked through the skewer will come out dry.

  • Ideally let it cool for 10 minutes before serving with a little bit of butter or margarine. Or serve cold with butter or a relish.

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