Rosemary Olive Damper: An Aussie Classic Glammed Up

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This Rosemary Olive Damper is a tasty twist on an old Australian classic.

rosemary olive damper

Damper is the traditional soda bread of the Australian swagman who spent weeks at a time in remote areas with only basic rations.

It used baking powder as a leavening agent rather than yeast and was traditionally cooked in the ashes of the campfire.

While this damper is a savory bread with plenty of flavour from the rosemary, olives and garlic, traditional damper was made plain and served with “Cocky’s Joy”, which is the old bush name for Golden Syrup.

When I was a young Brownie, we would make damper at camp by wrapping the dough around a stick before cooking it over an open fire. The hole left when we removed the stick was with butter and golden syrup. This beats fine dining any day!

rosemary olive damper ingredients

You can glam up damper with just about anything you have on hand: chopped spinach, grated Parmesan or sharp cheddar, crumbled feta, sun-dried tomato, grated vegetables like zucchini or carrot, cooked onion (caramelised onion would also be nice) chopped cooked bacon, dried thyme…lots of ways to make a simple bread shine.

Pair this bread with a soup for a filling winter meal. Try this easy slow-cooker pumpkin soup.

Yield: 8 Serves

Rosemary and Olive Damper

rosemary olive damper

Add rosemary and olives to a traditional Australian bread to make it a bit fancy. Damper is an easy bread made without yeast like soda bread.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 3 cups wholemeal flour (plain or self-raising)
  • 3 tsp. baking powder (don’t add if you’re using self-raising flour)
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup pitted and chopped olives
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • enough water to make a dough


  1. Preheat oven to 220C or 200C fan-forced.
  2. Rub butter into flour and baking powder until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Gently mix in the rosemary, garlic and olives.
  4. Make a well in the mix and add the milk. Knead the milk into the dough.
  5. Gradually add water, kneading between each addition until you have a dough consistency.
  6. Turn dough onto a baking tray. Slash the top with a sharp knife and bake for 40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
  7. Serve with butter or a good olive oil.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 482mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 6gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using the Nutritionix database. Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, serving size or the source of nutrition data. We strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy. We encourage readers to make their own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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rosemary olive damper

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One Comment

  1. And A Happy Australia day to you.
    Today will be a throw a prawn on the barbie day for us, easy food and enjoyable company.