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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter three 1lb loaf tins. Toss the apple with 2 tbsp of the plain flour. Mix the flours and oatmeal with 1 tsp salt and the bicarbonate of soda. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips. Stir in the sugar.
Make a well in the middle of the mixture and gradually pour in the stout, followed by the treacle, then the buttermilk. Mix the liquids in with a butter knife as they are added, also working in the floured apple – work quickly and be careful not to overmix.
Divide the mixture between the loaf tins, sprinkle over the oats or seeds. and bake for 35-40 mins. To test whether the loaves are ready, remove one from the tin and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready; if not, return to the oven for a little longer. Turn the loaves out of the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.