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Damper Bread

This bread dates back to the early days of the Australian colonies. It may have been named for William Dampier, an early explorer.


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water; stir in sugar. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl; cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in yeast mixture and buttermilk until soft dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; gently knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Shape dough into a round 7-inch diameter loaf. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut an X about 1/2 inch deep in top of bread. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  4. Serve warm. Tear bread into pieces to serve.

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