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If you're like Rach and have no idea what a cheesy damper is, chef Curtis Stone is happy to explain! He describes it as a light, fluffy and crusty Australian bread. "This is one of those bread-type products that you make in the Outback because you don't have yeast." It uses baking powder and baking soda instead and is very easy. Rach also called it "delicious" after her first taste! You can flavor the dough with whatever herbs or spices you like. Serve the bread with Curtis' Creamy Celery Root Soup, one of his Thanksgiving staples, and Kitchen Sink Salad

Note: If you want to try cooking the damper over a campfire like they do in the Outback, you don't even need a pan, says Curtis. You can literally put the dough around a stick or throw it right on the embers, and it turns into beautiful bread. 


  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere or other tasty cheese
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
  • Parmesan cheese, for grating
  • Accompaniments: your favorite jam or Vegemite and/or butter


Serves: 6 to 8


Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to blend. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the Gruyere and butter into the flour mixture until the butter resembles small pea-size pieces. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk into the well. Stir just until the mixture is moistened, but still lumpy. Form the dough into a rough ball and place it in a large cast-iron skillet. 

Push the dough into the bottom of the pan so it's about 1 ½ inches high all over and cover the pan with foil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the damper is a deep bronze color all over and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center. Grate the Parmesan cheese over the top of the hot damper and serve warm with jam or Vegemite and/or butter.