Damper is a classic Australian bread. It was originally put into a pot and buried in the hot coals of an open fire to bake. It’s called “damper” because the fire is damped to allow the bread to be cooked over the hot coals that continued to emit sufficient heat after the fire was distinguished. And this recipe serves up the Damper with butter sweetened with an Aussie favorite, golden syrup.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and flour a round baking pan; set aside. (You can substitute and use a flat parchment-lined baking sheet, but using a round baking pan helps to better shape the bread.)
Sift flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, and rub butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the center of the mixture, and add the milk. Stir until a dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently until smooth. Shape into a round ball, and place in prepared baking pan.
Using a sharp knife, score a shallow cross into the top of the damper. Brush the top with milk, and dust lightly with flour.
Bake in preheated over for 35 to 40 minutes or until damper is golden brown and sounds hollow then tapped on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
To make the Golden Syrup Butter: Using an electric mixer, beat butter and golden syrup until smooth. Serve with warm Damper, and drizzle extra golden syrup on top, if desired.