Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns

Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are a staple in the Scullery this time of year so we thought we’d share our recipe in case you’d like to try to bake some this weekend! These soft, doughy Easter buns are traditionally baked with rasins, currents and citrus peel and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg but we thought we’d use local Armagh Bramley apples instead of dried fruit and peel because these Orchard County apples pair perfectly with the warm spices used in Hot Cross Buns.

Armagh Bramley Apples have Protected Geographical Indication status (like Parma Ham and Champagne) giving recognition to the unique environment they’re grown in and the distinctive flavour they have as a result. These Bramleys have a much tarter flavour than Bramleys grown in other regions but when cooked with gentle heat and a dollop of Abernethy butter the apples lose some of their acidity and offer a more mellow apple flavour with a hint of tartness through the bun. Bramley apples are widely available through supermarket chains but for Armagh Bramley apples you’re best checking for the sticker below or asking your local fruit & vege shop or looking at Farmer’s Markets around the country!

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Armagh Bramley Apple Hot Cross Buns



For the dough

450g plain flour

1 packet fast action dried yeast

50g granulated brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

80mL full fat milk

40g Abernethy butter

100mL water

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the apple 

1 Armagh Bramley apple (Peeled, finely cubed)

1 tsp Burren Bramley apple balsamic

20g granulated brown sugar

20g Abernethy butter

For the white cross

65g flour

30mL water (may need more if the paste is too thick)

For the glaze

200mL Barnhill Bramley Apple Juice

20g granulated brown sugar


Preparation time: 20 mins + 1.5hrs proving time

Cooking time: 20 mins

Calories per serving: 228 calories per bun

Cover the apple peel in Burren Bramley Balsamic and cook @180oC for 20 minutes to dehydrate and brown the peel slightly. Finely chop the peel once cooked.

Cook the diced apple on a medium heat with 20g brown sugar and 20g Abernethy butter for 8-10 mins.

To prepare the dough, mix the flour, salt, sugar, spices, yeast, cooked apple and peel in a large bowl.

Gently melt the butter, add the milk, egg and water and mix well (use warm water if the temperature of the mixture feels cold to touch).

Gradually add the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough.

Seal the dough bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for a min. of 1 hr to rise.

Divide the dough into 9 round pieces and place on an oven-proof tray lined with baking paper.

Cover the dough with an oiled piece of cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 mins to rise.

Prepare the paste for the crosses by mixing the flour with water, one teaspoon at a time to form a thick paste and pour into a piping bag.

Wash the dough with milk and pipe the crosses before baking in the oven for 25 mins @180oC.


While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by boiling the apple juice and sugar to melt the sugar and reduce the liquid to a syrup.

When the buns are baked, wash with the glaze to finish.

Happy Easter & we hope you enjoy your hot cross buns, chocolate eggs and juicy Irish lamb this Sunday!!



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Parmesan Crusted Buttermilk Bread

This recipe will give a soft loaf with a crunchy, cheesy, salty crust – best served slathered in your home-made butter! It adds great flavour to a plain old cheese toastie or if it’s a couple of days old chop it up and fry in a pan to make tasty croutons for soup.

I made this loaf to make use of the lovely fresh buttermilk left-over from my home made butter. Fresh buttermilk doesn’t have any culture added to it (cultureless-swine!) so it doesn’t have the same sourness/acidity that shop-bought buttermilk has. It’s a little sweeter so if you’re going to use shop-bought buttermilk be sure and add a little more sugar to the recipe, or keep the quantity as it is to make a sour-dough style bread instead!

I also made this recipe using shop-bought buttermilk and traditionally churned, smoked Abernethy butter and it gave a sour-dough style bread with a hint of smoke – delicious!


Parmesan Crusted Buttermilk Bread


500g Strong white flour

7g fast acting yeast

smoked sea salt flakes

50g Poppyseeds

50g Basil and garlic butter (melted)

50g Sugar

200mL buttermilk (lukewarm)

150mL warm water

80g grated parmesan cheese

1 beaten egg


Mix the flour, poppy seeds, yeast, sugar and a pinch of sea salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre of the mix.

Mix the melted butter with the warm buttermilk and water. Gradually pour the liquid to the centre of the bowl and mix to create a dough.


Cover the bowl with cling-film and leave in a warm place for a minimum of 1hr to prove (if you can leave it overnight – even better, just don’t forget about it!).

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it to knock back some of the air pockets that have formed in the rise. Shape the dough into a ball and place on a floured baking tray. Wash the surface of the dough with eggwash and sprinkle with salt flakes, poppyseeds and parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven for 50-60 mins @180°C.

Pre-oven bread

To check the bread has baked thoroughly, turn the bread upside-down and tap the base – it should sound hollow if it’s cooked!

Cooked Bread

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SculleryMade is a Belfast project to share recipes using quality, locally sourced ingredients. Our main recipes include methods for cooking, baking, brewing and curing.

SculleryMade – Ormeau Rd, Belfast                                                      Contact: