Before the issue of childhood obesity and before the day of the sugar police making their way into Australian schools, you could get some damn good stuff at the school canteen. Now granted, I do think it's a good idea to somewhat regulate what's offered at the school canteen and ensure that healthy food is a priority. But I can't help but wonder what kids in the future will look back on with nostalgia.
What I remember about my school canteen is the finger bun. Every week with my pocket money in tow I would have the pleasure of deciding on a treat. For me nothing could beat the finger bun. Sitting there all glazed up with the pretty pink icing, there was never really any competition.
From time to time, I'll see these at a cafe or bakery and just the sight of them reminds me of childhood. So when I was recently flicking through a new magazine and came across a recipe for finger buns, I knew I had to make them.
These do take a while to make but like most baking, the end is definitely worth the means. What you end up with are deliciously spiced and sweetly glazed buns. I served these for afternoon tea on the day I baked them to Mr Shady Pine and a friend who were working hard on a landscaping project at The Shady Pine. Four finger buns later, I gathered they enjoyed them! While I really loved having one with my coffee, what I really enjoyed was making these and seeing the end result. The school memories made it all the better.
Recipe adapted from Super Food Ideas magazine, March 2012 issue, Recipe by Kim Coverdale
7g sachet yeast
1/3 cup raw caster sugar
½ cup milk, warm
2 ½ cups baker’s plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g butter, chopped
½ cup sultanas
¼ cup warm water
Extra milk for brushing
Hundreds and thousands and desiccated coconut to decorate
1 ½ cups icing sugar mixture
10g melted butter
2 Tbs hot water
Few drops of pink food colour
1. Place yeast, sugar and milk into a bowl and mix well. Rest for 10 minutes or until the mixture start to bubble.
2. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, spices and butter. Rub in butter until breadcrumbs are formed.
3. To the flour add the yeast mixture, ¼ cup warm water, egg, sultanas and vanilla. Mix well. Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for an hour or until the dough is doubled in size.
4. Preheat oven to 200C. Prepare two baking trays.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape each into a log about 12-14cm long. Place logs onto baking trays. Cover and rest for another 15 minutes.
6. Brush the buns with milk and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
7. Place cooked buns on a cake rack to cool.
8. Place all the icing ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix well until a smooth icing is formed.
9. Spread icing over each finger bun and decorate using the hundreds and thousands and desiccated coconut.
10. Serve as is or cut in half lengthways and spread with butter.