Cheese and Sage Damper Bread

If you are looking for inspiration in the kitchen, Celia Brooks Brown's World Vegetarian Classics is a good place to start. There are over 250 authentic vegetarian recipes from around the world to choose from and nearly all of them are accompanied by some stunning mouthwatering photographs. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the region's culinary traditions, complete with a focus on vegetarian ingredients. Each recipe is straightforward and calls for ingredients that are easy to obtain.

My latest choice was from the chapter devoted to Australasia, a cuisine that until recently was rather bereft of tasty vegetarian options. Thanks to the influence of Asian and Mediterranean immigrants, creative and imaginative vegetarian options are now common place. Tempted first by garlic and goat cheese custards with fresh tomato sauce, and then by a savory cheesecake made with sweet potato, and then again by a pumpkin and coconut soup with macadamia pesto, and finally by beetroot hummus, I finally decided to make this cheese and sage damper because the smell of freshly baked bread is truly one of the most soothing of experiences.

This no yeast bread has a long tradition in Australia and was often cooked over the hot coals of a campfire. Somewhat like Irish soda bread, it is perhaps best described as a cross between a bread and a quick bread such as a large scone. This modernized version includes Gouda cheese and sage, resulting in a most satisfying side dish.

Cheese and Sage Damper BreadCheese and Sage Damper Bread
Recipe by
Adapted from World Vegetarian Classics: Over 200 Essential International Recipes for the Modern Kitchen
Cuisine: Australian
Published on September 21, 2008

Simple and filling Gouda cheese and sage bread dotted with poppy seeds — a modern take on a traditional outback bread

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  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup grated Gouda cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 cup milk + a few teaspoons for brushing
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Preheat an oven to 425° and butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Now stir in the cheeses and sage. Gradually stir in the milk until a dough forms.

  • On a lightly floured board, knead the dough for a few minutes until it is smooth. Shape the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches thick. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Using a long knife, score the dough into 8 wedges, nearly cutting it all the way through.

  • Brush the top with milk, sprinkle with poppy seeds, and bake for 25 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cool.

Makes 8 servings


karuna said...

wowow, this bread looks good. with the cheese, excellent with a nice bowl of soup. ummmmmm!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful--a bread I could actually make, too! :)

Johanna GGG said...

your damper looks delicious - couldn't imagine a swagman with gouda cheese but that is the beauty of Australasian cookery - we are not much tied to tradition!

Sara said...

This bread sounds really interesting!

Ivy said...

I can imagine the smell of this bread while being baked. This bread is perfect for breakfast.

Jen said...

This looks so good and easy to make too-- plus I love any baked good that has poppy seeds on top.

Usha said...

Looks wonderful...will be great with some hot soup :)

Meeta K. Wolff said...

no yeast! sounds like the perfect bread for me to nake! ;-). It looks gorgeous and a perfect entry for the mm! thanks sweetie!

Ruth Strong said...

This looks delicious!!!! A great entry to the mingle, thank you!