Maramurdumurduwholemeal flatbread 

Maramurdumurdu is a unique style of johnnycake flatbread made from wholemeal flour. The name maramurdumurdu translates to ‘hand bread’, ‘mara’ meaning hand and murdumurdu ‘bread’ because the johnnycake is the size of your hand and is held like a taco in your palm when you eat it. The maramurdumurdu is made by mixing boiling hot water and wholemeal flour together to create a soft dough. The dough is rolled flat with a unique rolling pin called wirri mai that is purposely designed for making the maramurdumurdu. The flattened dough is embossed with a unique zigzag design with the handle of the wirri mai. The maramurdumurdu is cut to size in a circle shape with the kurruru mai (biscuit cutter). The johnnycake is cooked on both sides on a flat hot cooking surface. Finally, maramurdumurdu is filled with a regional selection of mai (vegetables) and pardu (meat).  


  • Murdumurdu (wholemeal wheat flour) 1 cup  
  • Murdumurdu (white wheat flour) 1 cup  
  • Kauwi (water) 2 cups  


  • Kampa kurru (saucepan)  
  • Kurru (bowl)   
  • Kurruru mai (15cm circle biscuit cutter)  
  • Wirri mai (rolling pin)  
  • Tarralyi (kitchen bench or chopping board)  
  • Tadli tadli (frying pan)  


Serves 2 people  

Maramurdumurdu is a very simple flatbread to make and it only needs two main ingredients: murdumurdu (wholemeal wheat flour) and kauwi (water). If you want to make the maramurdumurdu fancier you can blend different Australian food grains into the murdumurdu flour such as wattleseed, kangaroo grass seed, purslane seeds, Australian millet, sandalwood nuts or macadamia nuts to add flavour and texture. Australian indigenous spices, herbs or salt can also be added for a unique flavour. If you are gluten intolerant you can replace the wholemeal wheat flour with brown rice flour.  

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a kampa kurru (saucepan).  

  2. Add 1 cup of whole wheat flour into the boiling water and stir the flour until it is mixed through well.  

  3. When the water and the wholemeal flour are mixed together and looks like a thick paste, remove from heat and let it sit until it has cooled down to room temperature.   

  4. Once the mixture is cooled it is ready to knead. Sprinkle the white flour onto a board or a bench and knead the wholemeal dough.  

  5. Knead the dough until it is firm and stretchy.   

  6. Take the wirri mai (rolling pin) and using the smooth shaft roll out the dough until it's about 3mm thick. Using the handle of the wirri mai emboss the flattened dough with a zigzag design. 
  7. Using the kurruru mai (biscuit cutter) cut out the dough. The johnnycake should be about 12-15cm in size. Once cut to the right size, lift the maramurdumurdu off the board using the wedge tip of the wirri mai. You can use the wirri mai to flip the maramurdumurdu in the frying pan as you would use a spatula.  

  8. Heat a tadli tadli (frying pan) on the stove without oil. Using the tadli tadli, cook the maramurdumurdu on the patterned side first. Cook the maramurdumurdu until the zig zag design turns a light brown colour and then flip the maramurdumurdu to cook the opposite side the johnnycake. The johnnycake should puff up with air when it is cooking. Gently press the air out of the maramurdumurdu with the wirri mai so that it is flat and can cook evenly. 
  9. Once both sides of the maramurdumurdu are golden brown remove from the heat. The maramurdumurdu should be soft and flexible, not rubbery or hard. The texture of the maramurdumurdu should be similar to a Mexican tortilla and Middle Eastern pita bread. The maramurdumurdu is ready to be filled with food.