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Stag Bakeries announced a ‘breakthrough’ in the saga of the broken oven today (Wednesday August 21st), with a temporary fix that puts their iconic plain loaf back on local shelves.

The Stornoway-baked bread, officially named best bread in Scotland earlier this year, has been missing from island tables for over five weeks, after a pump broke in the specialist deck-oven which is needed to bake the plain loaf.

With the part still on order from the German manufacturers, Stag has been exploring local solutions. At 2pm yesterday they fitted a locally-welded substitute pump which successfully fired up the oven and maintained it at temperature.

The first batch of plain loaves were baked early this morning and are on shelves now, to a chorus of approval from the bread’s many devotees.

The production team plan to bake another 1,000 loaves between now and the end of the week – which is just as well, as one customer commented: “You’d better make extras, because everyone will be buying more than one, that’s for sure!”

Stag’s general manager Kathryn Graham said: “While we are all very excited here to have the oven going and the plain loaf back in production, this is only a temporary fix, but one that we hope will hold out until the part arrives..... fingers crossed!”

Pic shows - some of today's batch of plain loaves fresh out of the Daub oven. (Stag Bakeries).