Test yourself at home with this technical challenge from the second series of The Great British Bake Off. Paul’s classic iced fingers are the perfect afternoon treat
- For the dough
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 x 7g packets fastaction dried yeast
- 50g caster sugar
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 10g sea salt flakes, crushed
- 150ml lukewarm milk
- 140ml water
- For the icing and filling
- 300g icing sugar
- 200ml whipping cream
- 1 x 400g jar strawberry jam, warmed and sieved, then cooled
- You will also need
- 2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper; a piping bag; a small plastic bag
Put all the ingredients 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.
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
Top tip for making Paul Hollywood’s iced fingers
When dividing the dough into pieces, you can weigh them to be sure they are all about the same. This is what professional bakers do. Each piece should weigh about 70g. Use a ruler to ensure all the fingers are the same length.