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Rooibos tea & barley fig rolls by Henrietta Inman

By Henrietta Inman from her book, The Natural Baker

Photography by Philippa Langley

The full-bodied flavour of Good & Proper Wild Rooibos tea really flatters the rich sweetness of the fig filling in these biscuits. I always loved fig rolls as a child, but it’s such fun to make your own from scratch and they’re so much more delicious with those nourishing and tasty wholegrains, which create a great consistency, too. Barley flour gives a bit of extra crunch, while spelt flour keeps it crumbly and soft. These are the perfect teatime treat to enjoy with a cup of tea.

What you need

Makes 20

For the fig filling:

  • 2 tsp Good & Proper Wild Rooibos loose leaf tea
  • 240g dried figs, stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium orange - finely grated zest plus 80g orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 15g ground cinnamon
  • 15g honey
  • 160g water

For the biscuit dough

  • 4 tsp Good & Proper Wild Rooibos loose leaf tea
  • 80g wholegrain barley flour, plus more to dust
  • 120g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 70g light brown muscovado or coconut sugar
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • finely grated orange zest
  • 100g virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Start by making the filling. Add all of the filling ingredients into a medium-small sized saucepan with the water and bring to the boil.
  • Cook until the liquids are just absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat and blend with a hand-held blender until relatively smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, get on with the biscuit dough. In a frying pan over a medium heat, spoon in the loose leaf tea and toast for 2 minutes, just to release its flavours.
  • When cool, mix it with the flours, sugar, salt and orange zest in a bowl.
  • Add the coconut oil, 1 tbsp water and the vanilla extract and mix until well combined, bringing it together with your hands into a ball. 
  • Flatten the dough out on a lightly floured piece of baking parchment into a rough rectangle.
  • Lightly flour the dough, place a piece of baking parchment on top and roll it out to a 23 x 18cm (9 x 7in) rectangle, using your hands to reshape when necessary. The dough should be a bit less than 5mm thick.
  • Transfer to a baking tray (sheet), with the sheet of baking parchment underneath.
  • Place the cooled fig paste in a cylinder down the middle of the rectangle of dough, leaving a rim of about 6cm on either side.
  • Carefully roll the left side of the dough rectangle over the paste, to create a cylinder shape with a flat bottom. The dough might crack a bit on the left side, but that is normal.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firmer and easy to cut with a sharp knife.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray (sheet) with baking parchment.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Carefully cut into 1cm thick pieces using a sharp knife, and place on the prepared tray.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, turning the rolls over halfway with a spatula, so they colour evenly on both sides.
  • Leave to cool slightly, then serve.  

These will keep for up to 5 days in a jar, biscuit tin or airtight container, or freeze for up to 1 month. The raw biscuits (cookies) can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Bake from frozen, adding a few minutes to the baking time.

You can find this recipe among in Henrietta's cookery book, The Natural Baker. Available to preorder here.




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