For the dough
For the filling
To make the dough, whisk 100ml milk, the egg and yeast together in a bowl. Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and add the butter, date syrup and salt. Add the milk and egg mixture and mix to form a soft, sticky dough.
Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes or until a soft, smooth dough forms. Add the remaining 25ml of milk if necessary.
Allow the dough to rest in the mixer for 15 minutes. Mix in the egg yolk then cover again with a large plastic bag and allow to rise in a warm place until puffy and doubled in size.
To make the filling, mix the butter and sugar together to form a paste – no creaming required. Set aside.
Then knock the air out of the dough by kneading it gently. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to form a large 30cm x 35cm rectangle.
Dot the surface of the dough with the butter-sugar mixture. Using a spatula, spread the filling all over the dough. Scatter over the dates, figs and sesame seeds.
With the long side of the dough facing you, fold the top third of the dough down over the middle third, then fold the bottom third up to cover the remaining dough so they meet in the middle. Pinch the seams closed.
Gently roll with a rolling pin to flatten the edges. You want a 30cm x 35cm rectangle.
Cut the dough vertically into 16 (2.5cm x 30cm) long strips. Starting from the end, gently wrap one strip around the tips of your index and middle finger, like a bandage, two or three times. Place your thumb on top of the wrapped dough, on the side closer to your wrist, to secure the shape, then loop the remaining end of the strand over and through the centre of the bun, tucking it under at the base of the bun. You should have a rounded bun made out of bandage-like strips with knotted part hidden at the bottom.
Arrange the buns on a lined baking tray, leaving enough room for spreading. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size. Brush with the milk and sprinkle over sesame seeds.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Bake the buns for 20-26 minutes or until golden brown – if you tap the tops of the buns, they should sound hollow.
Brush with the warm date syrup to serve.