Lit., A dish traditionally served to inmates or shipmates, rumored to contain saltpeter (potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate), a notorious suppressor of male libido; Figuratively, any unsaisfying answer, inadequate response, or chicken-shit explanation given by the powers-that-be to anyone subject to their authority.
"I tried to get a straight answer from the warden, but all he was dealin' was confinement loaf."
"I asked her ten times what was wrong, but all she'd serve me was confinement loaf."
"The reporters kept coming back to what Bush actually said, but all they could get from his press-secretary was confinement loaf."
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