Bring Finger Buns Back Into Your Life With This Old School Recipe

Bring Finger Buns Back Into Your Life With This Old School Recipe
Image: Baker's Delight / Lifehacker Australia

Finger buns were a lunch box treat for many Australians growing up in the 90s and 00s. Their popularity has since tragically waned with health conscious parents understandably shunning the sugary school snack. If you’re feeling like a trip down culinary memory lane, here’s how you can make them at home.

When dark times befall us, sugary snacks are a go-to for some much-needed relief. If it’s something that made you happy in childhood then the instant gratification feels compounded. For me, a finger bun was a treat my mum would give me when I did something worth celebrating as a kid but I probably haven’t had one in 15 years. I like to think I’ve done some things worth celebrating since then so I owe it to myself to make up for lost time.

The finger bun, for those not savvy, is a simple Australian delicacy. It’s a bread bun, not unlike something you’d slap a sausage into, but it’s the topping that makes it a treat. You can make it a few different ways but they all include something filled with sweetness.

Pink fondant toppings sprinkled with 100s and 1000s as well as Boston icing covered in coconut were all the rage for those lucky enough to score the snack at school. New flavours have also appeared since it dropped off my treat rotation with chocolate and orange fondant as well as cinnamon sprinkles making their debuts.

It’s probably that unashamed saccharine finish that made it the top choice for many lunch boxes around the country.

Baker’s Delight still makes the holy, sugar-filled buns but some classics are missing. Notably, my personal favourite was the pink fondant and shredded coconut-topped finger bun. So, if like me, your go-to is no longer available 20 or so years later, opt for a DIY treat instead.

This is what Reddit user u/Us__kids__know did, trying their hand at a Women’s Weekly recipe with great success.

If you’re up for the challenge, here’s what you’ll need to make the Women’s Weekly recipe.

Ingredients:

For the finger buns:

  • 4 teaspoon (14g) dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup (375ml) warm milk
  • 4 cup (600g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 60 gram (2 ounces) butter, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup (80g) sultanas
  • 1/4 cup (40g) dried currants
  • 1/4 cup (20g) desiccated coconut

Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon caster(superfine)sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
  • 1 tablespoon hot water

Icing

  • 1 cup (160g) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 10 gram (½ ounce) butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon milk, approximately
  • pink food colouring

Method:

  1. Grease two 20cm x 30cm lamington pans. Combine yeast, sugar and milk in small bowl. Cover; stand in warm place about 10 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Sift flour into large bowl, rub in butter. Stir in yeast mixture, egg and fruit; mix to a soft dough. Cover; stand in warm place about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  4. Knead dough on floured surface about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 16 portions; shape into buns 15cm long. Place eight buns into each pan; cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap, stand in a warm place about 10 minutes or until buns are well risen.
  5. Bake buns 8 minutes; cover loosely with foil, bake a further 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. For glaze, combine ingredients in small pan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar and gelatine have dissolved. Turn buns, top-side up, onto wire rack; brush with hot glaze, cool.
  7. For icing, sift icing sugar into small heatproof bowl, stir in butter and enough milk to make a firm paste; tint pink with colouring. Stir over hot water until spreadable. Spread icing over top of cold buns; sprinkle lightly with coconut.

[Via Women’s Weekly]

Overall, it’s supposed to take around 45 minutes so it’s definitely easier to just head to your local bakery but where’s the fun in that. Either way, I’m ready to pretend I’m eight years old again.

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