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Traditional Australian Beer Damper is a classic outback Aussie food. ‘Bush bread’ it is often called and is delicious. It was mostly made by stockmen, drovers and swagmen roaming around Australia. They didn’t have the luxury of being able to ‘pop in’ to a supermarket to buy a load of bread. So, they made it themselves from simple ingredients. And the legacy of making damper bread lives on with campers today.

In this post I am sharing a basic damper recipe for beer damper that I like to make. Traditional Australian damper is usually made with self-raising flour, sugar, butter and milk but in this recipe I replace the sugar with salt and the milk and butter with beer. I love this campfire damper recipe as it is so easy to make and the beer gives the damper a unique beer flavour. And no, you don’t have to love beer to love beer damper! Let’s get started making this Australian bread.


How to Make Beer Damper


To make traditional Australian Beer Damper you need the right equipment and ingredients.


Equipment needed to make Beer Damper


  • Heat from Camp Oven and Fire Pit or an Home Oven
  • Utensils to prepare the dough and to handle heat from your oven
  • Large bowl to mix the damper dough mixture
  • A flat surface, like a chopping board, to knead the dough.


Damper Ingredients


This damper recipe camping outdoors or staying in accommodation with a kitchen/kitchenette has ingredients that will make a nice sized damper for about 2-4 people to enjoy. It can be cut up into smaller servings to make bread rolls.

  • 3 Cups of Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 pinch of salt (about a teaspoon)
  • 375ml of beer – any beer


Beer damper ingredients include self-raising flour, salt and beer of your liking.

3 simple ingredients for making damper – flour, salt & beer


Method to Make Beer Damper


  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius or 180 degrees Celcius if it’s fan forced. If using a camp oven, prepare your campfire and pre-heat your camp oven.
  • Combine flour and salt and mix.
  • Make a fist-sized well in the centre of the mixture and add about three quarters of your beer into the well then combine the ingredients with your hands or spoon. You are after an ideal mixture that is soft and sticky but isn’t sticking to the sides of the bowl. If dry, add more beer.
  • Tip mixture on to a floured board and knead the dough.
  • Put the whole mixture, or cut it up into pieces to make smaller damper rolls, into a greased and floured camp oven or baking tin and put on the heat to begin the cooking process.


Beer Damper Cooking Methods


There are two cooking methods to cook your damper bread – in a camp oven or in a home oven.


Camp Oven Cooking Damper


To cook your damper bread in a camp oven, grease it with a little butter and dust with flour the inside of your camp oven as this will help to not stick to your camp oven. Or you can put the dough in greased foil and then in the camp oven. Once done, put the lid on. It is best to put the camp oven over the coals of your fire with a few placed on top. It’s not wise to cook the dough over flames as it will just cook the outside. It usually takes about 30 minutes to cook but give the beer damper about 20 minutes and see how it is going. To tell if it is cooked give it a tap and if it makes a hollow sound it is ready. Or, you can put a skewer or knife in it and if they come out clean – then it is ready.


Home Oven Cooking Damper


If you are making your beer damper at home in an oven, place the dough on a tray lined with baking paper and leave it in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Like when cooking your damper in a camp oven, at about the 30 minute mark test the damper by tapping on it to see if you hear a hollow sound, and if you do, it is ready. Or you can use a skewer or knife.


Serving the Beer Damper


Traditionally, the damper is eaten straight away and served with either butter or golden syrup. I like the butter option – there is not much better than freshly baked warm bread with butter melting on it! But you can add whatever topping you like – jam, peanut butter, etc.



FAQs about Beer Damper


Why Is Damper Called Bush Bread?

Australian damper bread is known as ‘bush bread’ because it was mostly made by people travelling through the outback of Australia. They didn’t have access to a supermarket where they could ‘pop in’ and buy a loaf of bread so, they made it themselves using minimal ingredients. The damper was cooked in a camp oven or dutch oven where they cooked the bread in the hot coals of the fire.


What is Traditional Damper Made From?

Traditional Australian Damper is made from self-raising flour, sugar, butter and milk. When mixed together then cooked they make a great bread to eat on its own or with a meal to mop up the gravy off the plate.


What is Australian Beer Damper Bread Made From?

There are few ingredients required to make traditional Australian beer damper bread. It is mostly flour, beer and salt. The beer replaces the butter and milk of the traditional damper. This makes it so easy to make while travelling. These ingredients are easy to find and easy to carry too.


What is the Best Beer to Use in Beer Damper?

The type of beer you put in your beer damper can influence its colour and flavour. The darker the beer with a strong flavour will produce a darker and more beer flavoured damper. If you don’t want the beer flavour to overpower the damper, then a lighter and milder beer, like pilsner and blonde ales would be best. I guess it will be trial and error. I personally, like the lighter and milder beer in my beer damper. But that’s me – you will work out what you like too!


What Do You Cook Damper Bread In?

Damper bread is a popular food to enjoy while camping in Australia’s great outdoors. Most cook their damper over the campfire in a camp or dutch oven. You can also cook it in a regular kitchen cooking oven. But the best flavour of damper is obtained using a camp oven.


What I like About this Beer Damper Recipe

One thing I like about making and cooking beer damper while backpacking, travelling and camping is that you can divide the mixture up to suit the oven you have. You can make one big loaf or divide the mixture into smaller portions and make bread rolls! This beer damper mixture is very versatile.


How Do You Know When Your Damper is Cooked?

You will know when you damper is cooked when it is lovely and golden on the outside and it sounds hollow when you tap on it. I think damper tastes the best straight out of the oven. You can eat it on its own with a knob of butter or use it to mop up a stew. However you eat it – enjoy!


Are You Ready to Make some Traditional Australian Beer Damper?


Beer Damper In Camp Oven PIN

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