Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a 10-inch top diameter cast-iron frying pan or an 8 or 9-inch round baking pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, walnuts, figs, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a well in centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the buttermilk. Stir to form sticky, thick batter. Scrape in to prepared baking pan, pushing the dough into the edges of the pan.
Sprinkle top with a bit of flour. Bake in pre-heated 400° oven until golden and a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. **Note: Check bread after 20 minutes or so and if it is browned enough, simply put a piece of tin foil over the top to stop further browning while it finishes cooking.
Let stand in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges. Gently loosen from the edges and slide bread onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
Soda bread is best eaten on the day it is baked. If you can't eat it up right away, you can wrap tightly and stretch it another day or so, or it does freeze well.
For the Honey Butter: In a small bowl and using fork, mash softened butter with honey until smooth. Makes about 1/2 cup.
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