Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Australia Day: Vegemite Damper Scrolls

G'Day mates, throw another vegie snag on the barbie, it's Aussie Day! (we don't all talk like that you know, except for maybe Paul Bogan  Hogan. Australia Day, for those of you not on our island continent, is our national day celebrated on the 26th January, which marks the arrival of the first fleet at Port Jackson (Sydney Cove) in 1788. It isn't the anniversary (claimed by my friend Josh to an unsuspecting American friend) " of the day in which a young Bushranger by the name of Ned Kelly, implemented his plan of concealing dynamite within the pouch's of Red Kangaroos and sent them hopping into the enemy camp, a plan which ultimately proved to be the decisive tipping point in ending the 6 year Australian-American war." LOL!!! BTW Josh, if you read this, I hope you don't mind me posting it, it was too good not to share!

So in honour of our day, I'm making some twists on traditional Aussie food. There will be a few posts, so keep your eyes peeled.

Damper, for those of you not in the know, is a colonial Australian unleavened bread. Traditionally, it was made with flour, salt, and water, and cooked in the coals of a "dampened" fire in a cooking pot.  Alternatively (and this was my favourite as a kid) it was twisted around a stick and cooked over the fire. We loved to smother ours with golden syrup when it was cooked. It has evolved to include baking soda, butter, and a little sugar, which I much prefer!

So, I've decided to add the other Australian icon, Vegemite - food of the gods! Not that other rubbish, Marmite (New Zealand version has sugar in it! Erk!), or Dick Smith's Aussiemite, or any number of other versions of yeast extract paste. You have to use the real deal (even if an American company owns it ha ha).

2 cups of plain flour 
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
3 heaped tablespoons dairy free margarine, plus extra to spread
approx 1/2 cup soymilk

Preheat oven to 180C
In a bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and sugar
Rub through margarine until dough resembles breadcrumbs
Add soymilk, and form into a ball, kneading for a couple of minutes until smooth. If it's bit too sticky, just add a dusting of flour.
Roll out into an oblong shape.
Spread with margarine, and lots of Vegemite, covering well. You can also at this point add some shredded dairy free cheese on the top.
Cut into strips about 3cm cm wide, and about 8cm long and roll each one up to form a scroll.
Place scroll cut end up in a greased baking dish (I used my cast iron pot), and continue until pan is full or dough is finished. they should be packed closely together.
Bake for about 15 -20 minutes until top sound hollow when tapped. Eat warm straight out of the oven with some billy tea of course!

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