Tama's Damper Loaf

Touring & Tasting’s Damper Loaf

An Australian damper loaf is similar to an Irish soda bread. Irish immigrants brought the recipe to “The Land Down Under” and it was adapted to the Outback using wattle seed--a native "bush tucker" ingredient. Without the wattle seed, the bread is still a satisfyingly dense, fine-textured rye that pairs well with cheese and wine.

Servings: Makes 1 Loaf

Pair With: Pair your damper loaf with cheese and wine:
Syrah -- English cheddar, dry cheddar, creamy washed-rind cheeses
Cabernet Sauvignon -- sharp cheddar, pecorino, Parmesan Reggiano

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup milk

1 package active dry yeast

3 tsp. sugar

4 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup water

3 cups white flour

2 cups rye flour

2 tbsp. potato flour

1 tbsp. wattle seed *optional

3 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

Allow enough time for the bread to rise twice. If you bake the bread before it has completely risen the second time, it will not be light and airy.

Scald the milk--do not bring it to a boil. In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and yeast to proof the yeast (make sure it rises). If the yeast begins to grow, then add the oil and 1/2 cup of the water and mix well. Into a large mixing bowl, sift in the white flour, rye flour and potato flour and whisk together until well mixed. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the liquid. Using your hands or wooden spoon, start mixing in the liquid until the dough just comes together, adding the rest of the flour in small amounts only if needed. The dough will be stiff and just barely moistened through. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic for around 10-20 minutes.

Clean the large mixing bowl, film it with a light coating of oil and put the dough ball in, covered with a clean, moist cloth towel (the bowl should be big enough that the dough won't touch the towel even after it has risen). Set in a warm place to rise until double in bulk. Knead again for a few seconds to get the air out and divide it into two pieces. Place on a lightly oiled and floured baking sheet or in two separate bread tins. Cover with moist towel and let rise until double in bulk. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 20-30 minutes, until the bread makes a hollow sound when you tap the bottom.

 

Touring & Tasting adds new wine pairing recipes every week. Check back for tasty new recipes to pair with wine!

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Touring & Tasting adds new wine pairing recipes every week. Check back for tasty new recipes to pair with wine!

Chef's Notes:

An Australian damper loaf is similar to an Irish soda bread. Irish immigrants brought the recipe to “The Land Down Under.”