Waitangi couple Fred and Valerie Dyer's favourite loaf of bread came with a surprise package this week - a baked black blob.
At first glance, the couple thought the worst - what had snuck into the loaf before it was baked? Nothing, it turns out.
Goodman Fielder, who manufactures the Vogels bread, are confident the Dyers' loaf contained a carbonised glob of dough that had been caught in the manufacturing machinery from a previous batch.
"Having seen the photos and now spoken with the consumer, the evidence supports the view that the dark matter is burnt dough," the company said in a statement.
"This would have occurred when a piece of dough from the previous run has become caught up, has carbonised, and fallen into the new dough piece.
"The product is clearly not to our usual standards, and we have apologised to the consumer, and are making arrangements to supply them with replacement product."
The couple accepted the company's explanation after initially wondering whether the black glob was a baked mouse. The Dyers bought the bread at a local supermarket on Saturday but don't hold the store responsible for the loaf's imperfection.
"Whatever it is, it's happened in the baking process," Mr Dyer said. "In all of our 80 years of eating we've never come across anything like that."