Throwback recipe Saturday – Mini finger buns
Being the whimsical person that I am (or so my partner thinks I am), I tend to cook and bake things that take my fancy at the time. I do my best to plan my week in regards to meals etc, but sometimes (OK, a lot of the time) inspiration strikes and that plan goes out the window. Sometimes, a bit of nostalgia creeps in and that ends up being my inspiration which is what happened this week. I don’t really know what sparked it, but I was thinking about the foods I used to eat at school and finger buns popped into my head. I ate finger buns A LOT at school. Cut in half, slathered with butter (on both halves) with coconut icing on top. For those who aren’t familiar with what a finger bun is, it’s a sweet yeast bun that is shaped like a finger (hence the name) about the size of a hotdog bun. It has dried sultanas mixed through it, and it’s topped with a strip of white icing with desiccated coconut stuck to the icing. Oh, those were the days *sigh* A friend of mine told me last night that these buns would most likely be banned from schools now. A real shame if this is the case. I can’t think of why they would be, unless people were concerned about the sugar content? Who knows. Good thing my kids will have a Mum that knows how to make finger buns then, huh? This recipe makes 12 mini finger buns.
Throwback mini finger buns
7g sachet dry yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
½ cup milk, warmed
2 ½ cups plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g butter, chilled, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup sultanas
1 tsp vanilla extract
Milk, for brushing
Hundreds and thousands and desiccated coconut, to decorate
1 cup icing sugar mixture
10g butter, softened
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Chuck the yeast, sugar and milk into a bowl. Give the yeast mixture a stir to dissolve some of the sugar. Cover and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until foamy.
Sift the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon together into a bowl of a food processor. Chuck in the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, rub the butter into the flour using your fingers (this tedious act in itself should motivate you to get a food processor). Empty the flour mixture into the bowl of a mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, then use a large mixing bowl. Make a well in centre. Add the yeast mixture, ¼ cup warm water, egg, sultanas and vanilla. Mix well to combine. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced). If you’re using a mixer, pop on the dough hook and knead for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth. If you’re not using a mixer, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about the same amount of time or until smooth. Divide dough into 12 portions. I weighed the dough before dividing it, to ensure the buns were about the same size. Shape each portion into a 13cm long log. Place logs on prepared trays, 5cm apart. Cover with cling wrap or tea towel and set aside in a warm place to further rise for about 15 minutes.
Brush buns with a little milk. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through (give the buns a tap, they should sound hollow). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter and 3 teaspoons of hot water. Stir until smooth and combined, add extra water if the icing is too thick. It should be of spreadable consistency, without it being runny. Spread the icing on the top of the buns. Sprinkle half the buns with hundreds and thousands and the other half with coconut. Set aside until the icing sets before serving.
Note: I have amended the original recipe slightly; if you would like to see the original recipe, click here. When heating up the milk to add to the yeast, make sure the milk is lukewarm rather than hot. If the milk is too hot, you could inactivate the yeast and your dough will not rise. These mini sized buns are great to have as a sneaky sweet snack with a nice cup of tea.