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Paul Hollywood’s iced buns are sweet, doughy and delicious.
Iced fingers are a real nostalgic childhood treat, that reminds us of tea times with grandparents and trips to the bakery. Britain’s best-loved baker and Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood (opens in new tab) shares his simple and totally satisfying iced fingers recipe that promises perfect results every time. Make and bake your basic dough, then cram full with cream and a drizzle of strawberry jam, before topping with some silky sweet icing. Filling and full of flavour, these fingers would definitely receive the Hollywood handshake of approval.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 x 7g packets fast-action dried yeast
- 50g caster sugar
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 10g sea salt flakes, crushed
- 150ml lukewarm milk
- 300g icing sugar
- 200ml whipping cream
- 1 x 400g jar strawberry jam, warmed and sieved, then cooled
- Put the bread flour, yeast, caster sugar, butter, eggs, milk and salt for the dough into a large mixing bowl with 100ml water. Mix together with your hands until a dough is formed. Slowly work in 40ml water and massage the dough in the bowl for about 4 minutes.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise for 1 hour.
- Line two baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. Tip the dough out onto the very lightly floured worktop again and divide into 12 pieces. Roll into balls and then into ‘fingers’ about 12.5cm long.
- Divide the fingers between the baking sheets, leaving plenty of space around and between them to allow for spreading. Leave to rise, uncovered, for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Bake the fingers for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
- For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Gradually stir in 42ml cold water to make a thick paste. When the fingers have completely cooled, split them open lengthways, not cutting all the way through. Dip one side of each finger into the icing and smooth it with your finger. Leave to set on a wire rack.
- Lightly whip the cream until thick and place in the piping bag. Pipe a generous line of whipped cream into each finger. Spoon the strawberry jam into a small plastic bag and snip off one corner. Pipe a delicate line of jam onto the cream in each finger.
Tips for making Paul Hollywood's iced fingers:
Is an iced bun normal bread?
Pretty much, though the dough can be enriched (as it is here) with sugar, butter and eggs. The dough is essentially a bread dough and has to be left to rise and prove in the same way.
How can I make sure all my iced buns are even?
Professional bakers solve this dilemma by weighing the divided portions of dough to ensure they are all about the same size. Each one should be about 70g for full size fingers, or about 18 x 45g portions for smaller buns. Use a ruler to ensure they are all the same length.
Why have my buns not risen?
Yeast can be a temperamental ingredient to work with so you have to treat it well. First check the use by date - old yeast will usually let you down. Make sure the milk you add is warm but not too hot otherwise you can kill the yeast. When you leave the dough to prove it should be in a warm place, not on a cold windowsill, for instance. And it's vital you are accurate with amounts for all the other ingredients - including flour: do not dust work surfaces with too much flour as it will get incorporated into the dough and could affect it.
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