Figgins: want yours toasted?


  • Servings: 12 buns
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This is how I imagine the famous Ankh-Morpork figgin. It has nothing to do with the (delicious) recipe found in the highly recommended Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook. The more astute among you will have spotted that if you replace the figs with raisins and, before glazing, place two thin strips of shortcrust pastry at 90° to each other on each bun, you have in fact got hot cross buns. The nice thing about figgins is that you don’t have to wait for Good Friday to eat them.

If you have a bread machine, it should make the preparation a lot easier, although it may take longer.

Yeast mix

  • 1 sachet baker’s yeast
  • 1 generous pinch of sugar
  • 3 dessertspoons milk


  • 50 g sugar
  • 225 ml milk at room temperature
  • 450 g strong flour
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice (garam masala, ras el hanout…)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g chopped dried figs
  • 50 g candied orange and/or lemon peel

Icing (optional)

  • 3 dsp milk, mixed with
  • 1 tsp icing sugar


  1. Mix the yeast with its sugar and milk and leave in a warm place for 15 to 20 minutes to activate it.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl with the sugar, salt and spices. Rub in the butter. Make a hole in the middle and add the milk, yeast mix and eggs. Fold into the flour until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
  3. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes, then form into a ball and put it into a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for an hour or so, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  4. Back to the floured surface, but this time you are going to add the dried fruit and candied peel while gently knocking back the dough.
  5. Now divide the dough into 12 slightly flattened spheres. Put them on a greased oven tray, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) in between, and leave to rise again for about 20 minutes.
  6. Apply the icing (if used) with a brush and bung the lot into the oven at 230°C for 15 minutes, or until nicely brown.

You can eat them still warm, cut in half with a generous dose of butter, or toasted, preferably in front of a real fire, cut in half with a generous dose of butter. The correct drink to accompany this nectar of the Glods is a nice hot cup of strong tea with a dash of milk.

Save butter wrappers for greasing bowls and baking moulds; there’s nothing better


Go on, bother me. You know you want to.

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