• A classic Aussie damper, with a twist, from Paul West (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

The wattleseeds add a nutty, coffee-like flavour and smell fantastic when sliced hot.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (187 votes)

A classic from the bush, damper is great to make on a camping trip or a fun bread to throw together with the kids.


  • 900 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 tbsp wattleseeds (see Note)
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500 ml (2 cups) full-cream milk
  • butter and golden syrup, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


If you're using a camp oven, build a fire and get a nice bed of coals going. If you’re baking in an oven at home, lightly grease a baking tray and preheat the oven to 200˚C.

In a bowl, combine the flour, wattleseeds, thyme and salt, then make a well in the centre and pour in the milk. Combine everything to form a smooth slightly moist dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured bench and knead until the dough is smooth. Shape the dough into a round loaf. Use a sharp knife to score the top with an “X”. Lightly dust the top with flour just before baking.

If using a camp oven, set the oven on a bed of gently glowing coals, place the loaf inside, put the lid on and, using a shovel, lay some coals over the camp oven. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the loaf has a golden crust and sounds hollow when tapped.

If baking your damper in a regular oven, place the loaf on the oven tray and bake for 35–40 minutes – again, you want the loaf to have a golden brown crust and sound hollow when tapped.

Serve with butter, golden syrup and hot cups of billy tea.



• Wattleseed can be purchased online


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page. Creative concept by Belinda So.


Paul West is the host of River Cottage Australia, 6pm weeknights on SBS and on SBS On Demand. For more recipes from Paul, click here.