Are you a beginner baker? An enthusiast or capable baker? Wherever you rate your talents, there’s something to be learnt and loved in Anneka Manning’s BakeClass. Manning’s baking book boasts practical and approachable lessons with step-by-step photography to outline the 10 most common mixing methods for successful baking.
Today we share Manning’s Finger Bun recipe that uses The Kneading Method: a baking method she professes as being great for releasing pent-up frustrations. ‘It requires gusto and strong arm muscles, and it can prove to be quite therapeutic.’ And of course you’ll end up with a delicious treat at the end, too!

‘Baking nurtures conversations, inspires creativity and encourages discovery.’

Anneka Manning

Finger Bun recipe


Just milk bread studded with sultanas, topped with pink icing and finished with coconut – it’s the simplicity that gives the finger bun its appeal!
Preparation time: 40 minutes (+ 1½ hours proving and 20 minutes standing)
Baking time: 30 minutes

375 g (13 oz/21/2 cups) strong bread or pizza flour, plus extra, to dust
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
60 g (21/4 oz/1/3 cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
7 g (1/4 oz/1 sachet) dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
200 ml (7 fl oz) milk
40 g (11/2 oz) butter, cubed
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence
Melted butter, to grease
185 g (61/2 oz/11/2 cups) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar
5 teaspoons water
Pink food colouring (about 3 drops)
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, to sprinkle
1. To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, sultanas, yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for 2–3 minutes, or until the butter has melted and the milk is lukewarm. Remove from the heat. Whisk one of the eggs with the vanilla and add to the butter and milk mixture. Whisk to combine. Add to the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench top and knead for 8–10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic and springs back when you push your finger into it.
3. Brush a large bowl with melted butter, to grease. Add the dough, turning it to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) or 160°C (315°F) fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
5. When the dough has doubled in size, knock it back by punching it in the centre with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured bench top and knead for 2–3 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a long oval shape about 12 cm (41/2 in) long and 3 cm (11/4 in) wide in the centre, and place on the lined trays, leaving about 5 cm (2 in) between them. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel (dish towel) and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until well risen.
6. Whisk the second egg and brush the rolls with it to glaze. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
7. To make the Topping, sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the water and mix to a very thick pouring consistency. Add 2–3 drops of pink food colouring to tint the icing. Spread the cooled finger buns with the icing, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Sprinkle with the coconut and set aside for 20 minutes for the icing to set before serving. These finger buns are best eaten on the day they are made.
BakeClass by Anneck Manning

Recipe and image from BakeClass by Anneka Manning, Murdoch Books.

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