Beau wrote: I went back to what damper was meant to be, and that's soda bread,
I believe that is so true and I am also of the opinion that it originated in Ireland.
I found this out once when asked to cook a traditional Irish dinner for someone consisting of Guinness Stew and Soda Bread.
The original soda bread however was very basic. More or less flour, soda and water.
In my research of different things over the years I also found out that years ago there was no such thing as self raising flour and to make flour rise they used to use ash from the fire. When your camp fire burns away to nothing you are left with a very fine white ash sitting on top. This is actually soda ash. A lot of Aussie bush folks used to use it as well.
These days we have cream of tarter, bi-carb soda and baking powder.