Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hot Pizza Damper...Just out of the oven...

I know that a lot of  my readers are heading into summer, but here in Australia we're getting into that season where hot soups, puddings and hearty veggie casseroles are to be desired on those cooling nights that are fast on our heels. Our faux flame heater is out and keeping our toes toasty but it helps when the bellies are warm to boot...and that's where this recipe comes in. I made this pizza damper as an accompaniment to the roast pumpkin soup featured in my last blog, and they went perfectly together. We had my father in law over for dinner and he promptly asked where the pizza damper came from, because he thought it had been bought.
Yes it looks impressive, so if you're ever having guests over for dinner, I recommend you make it as a table centrepeice. It smells divine, it looks divine and its absolutely delicious. This one came straight out of the oven onto the table...nothing like bread fresh out of the oven! There's really nothing to this recipe, the buttermilk does all the hard work. It requires no bread making skills at all. I've never used buttermilk until now, and I am absolutely impressed by how delicious it makes scones, pancakes and damper. Again, this was one thing that only lasted a few minutes on the make a couple! Everyone will want seconds. Even the kids who hate tomato and olives ate this baby with relish. Now that's saying something!

PIZZA DAMPER (adapted from

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup  black olives, finely chopped (we used Spanish olives)
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/3 cup grated cheese
1/4 grated cheese, extra
2 cups self raising flour
1 tbs sugar
pinch salt
60g butter, chilled, diced
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Line a round baking tray with baking paper. Position oven rack in the top half of oven.
Sift flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the olives, parsley, 1/3 cup cheese and tomatoes. Stir until well combined, and then make a well in the centre of the mixture. Add buttermilk. Using a flat-bladed knife, stir until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until just smooth. Form into a flat disc big enough to fit inside the pan (20cm base). Cut round into 8 wedges (don't cut all the way through). Brush the top with a little buttermilk, and sprinkle the extra cheese on the top of the damper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hollow when tapped on top or turns golden. Serve hot.

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