When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to buy from the school canteen (or the “tuckie” as we used to call it) was a sticky, sweet, pink-iced finger bun. Back then, they were about 20 cents, which is a lot of money when you are six!
We have recently discovered one of those old-school, no-frills bakeries, selling all the treats that remind me of my childhood:- meringues, custard tarts, vanilla slices and….fingerbuns! At $1.80 each, the cost adds up when buying 3 at a time, so I thought I would give them a go myself.
I found this recipe in my daughter’s Frankie magazine, and made a couple of changes. They are pretty simple to make. The trickiest part is the kneading, which is both soothing and a workout! I’m glad I got a couple of photos, as they did not last long.
For the dough
150ml whole milk
2 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp bread improver (heaped)
2 tbsp soft butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the icing
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
Tiny drop of pink food colouring
Heat the milk in the microwave until lukewarm (about 30 secs)
Stir together flour, caster sugar, salt, yeast and bread improver in a large bowl. Add the warmed milk, butter and egg, and stir to make a soft, sticky dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is springy and elastic. Place into a clean, lightly greased large bowl, and cover with a clean tea-towel. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This takes about an hour.
Turn the oven to 200 degrees celcius and line a tray with baking paper.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a long, fat cigar shape. Put the shaped rolls on the prepared tray, leaving about two finger spaces between them. Cover loosely with the clean tea towel and let rise for another 15 minutes, then bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove to a rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, add the milk and food colouring gradually to the icing sugar, until it forms a thick, smooth, glossy paste. Spread a generous amount on each bun. At this point, you can also sprinkle the buns with desiccated coconut or 100s and 1000s. Leave to set. (You may need to stand guard and swat away little fingers, as I did)
Makes 12 finger buns.