planewasted
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Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:34 am

Only me who have been thinking about this? The warm bread that is served on planes is almost always hard on one side. Even in business class. Why is that? Is there no way to heat it without hardening it?

The best bread I have had in the sky is SK's sourdough in business and strangely a simple croissant served on a Austrian airlines Fokker in economy class as breakfast.

The worst? Air China economy:
http://foodology.ca/air-china-seoul-beijing/
looked and tasted very synthetic!

Any other opinions about airline bread? Another thing I don't understand is why unsalted butter is so common on airplanes. Tastes nothing on bread!
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:49 am

Have you tried to bake at altitude?

Higher the altitude the lower the air density pressure makes things like baking difficult as things like flour, fats, sugars, proteins, liquids all react differently.

Also the dryness of cabins done help which only further exasperates the already different evaporation rate at altitude.
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N1120A
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:52 am

The issue is mainly freshness. The fresher bread is, the better consistency it has. It is tough to get fresh bread on planes, out of flight kitchens. Too bad they don't bake bread the same way they do cookies.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
tonystan
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:53 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 1):

Think you'll find nothing is baked on a plane! Warmed up maybe but never baked!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:00 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):

Think you'll find nothing is baked on a plane! Warmed up maybe but never baked!

AA bakes cookies on some planes.
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lewis
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:06 am

I've been served bread on board aircraft that was well heated and crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. It is just a case of catering not providing fresh bread that is not stale.
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:08 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
Think you'll find nothing is baked on a plane! Warmed up maybe but never baked!

I agree. Even Midwest Express had premade cookies that were warmed onboard. I was disappointed to see the Midwest logo on the giant cardboard box of cookies.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
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mercure1
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:11 am

Yes some airlines definitely bake on board, some also cook onboard such things such as made to order eggs.

Doing anything at altitude (even on land) often requires different recipes and technique due air density and how materials react differently.
Things like temperature and bake time, to ingredient (amount of flour, sugars, liquids, etc) need adjustment as otherwise you might end up with something not very nice.
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N62NA
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:35 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 4):
AA bakes cookies on some planes.

They used to. Then they stopped and went for the "heated on board" cookies. Have they gone back to baking them onboard?
 
USAirALB
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:39 am

I had a crusty, warm roll in Economy on CX last year when I was flying HKG-ICN. It was so good that I asked for a second roll. Way better than any dinner rolls I have bought at the grocery store.
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rwsea
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:43 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
Think you'll find nothing is baked on a plane! Warmed up maybe but never baked!

United definitely bakes cookies onboard for first class passengers. I watched last week as the FA put the dough on the a tray and baked the cookies.
 
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:46 am

Quoting planewasted (Thread starter):
The worst? Air China economy:
http://foodology.ca/air-china-seoul-beijing/
looked and tasted very synthetic!

Possibly because most Chinese in China don't eat bread, or very little. It's not a traditional part of the diet in many parts of Asia where rice is the predominant grain, not wheat.
 
Prost
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:16 am

The bun warmers on most of our aircraft heat only on the bottom side. We're fairly busy during meal prep and don't rotate the bags of rolls to keep them evenly heated. Some of our aircraft have only one oven and no bun warmer, so the fact that your get warmed rolls and a hot entree is a timing miracle.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:02 am

As long as the butter/margerine isn't also hard, I'm good.
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MIflyer12
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:03 am

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 9):
I had a crusty, warm roll in Economy on CX last year when I was flying HKG-ICN. It was so good that I asked for a second roll. Way better than any dinner rolls I have bought at the grocery store.

Is CX still serving garlic bread in long-haul J? Bed bread I've ever had on a plane - any class, any carrier, all time. It's not great bread by restaurant standards but by aircraft catering standards it is superior.
 
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:19 am

VA serves good, warm garlic bread in J!
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:24 am

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 14):
Is CX still serving garlic bread in long-haul J? Bed bread I've ever had on a plane - any class, any carrier, all time. It's not great bread by restaurant standards but by aircraft catering standards it is superior.

I was offered garlic bread on the first of my two J flights yesterday, but not on the second. The second leg only offered a simple roll. The first leg offered garlic bread, a multigrain bread/scone type thing, and baguette. The first leg was a 2.5-hour flight, the second a 1.5-hour flight.
 
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Pellegrine
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:14 am

Try heating up bread in a microwave on your way into work (or any other rush). The window between pillowy soft and warm and hard as a rock is very small.

Quoting Prost (Reply 12):
We're fairly busy during meal prep and don't rotate the bags of rolls to keep them evenly heated.

I can imagine. I room temperature roll would be fine with me. I actually kind of prefer it that way.
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Skydrol
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:40 am

EL AL flight attendants served really nice steamed sweet bread from baskets to accompany the economy meal on the flights I have been on with them. This was the best I ever had on a flight. But many other times on other airlines, the bread on the meal tray would be like a stone.




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TheRedBaron
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:50 am

Midwest express used to have great cookies on board...made there I think the Ac smells great!

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nethkt
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:16 am

I suggest you try THAI.
My experience on many business class flights with them, short/long haul is that their bread are very delicious.
No cold hard bread since F/A will warm them up before they are being served. I'd say the same to SQ and TK.

Qatar did a nice job warming their bread but the quality of bread ex-DOH is nothing to compare to THAI or European carriers.

AF like their bagette hard so they won't make it softer for you for sure.

LH/LX/OS/SK serve wonderful bread, they are mixed between soft and hard depending on the kind of bread since they serve more than one.

These are from experinces on business class cabin.

The most difficult one being the garlic bread, they become too soft and oily as soon as they come out from the oven.

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Apprentice
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:17 am

Water, or more exactly, lack of, inside cabin.


[QUOTTE Cabin humidity and dehydration

The humidity in aircraft cabins is low, usually less than 20% (humidity in the home is normally over 30%). Low humidity may cause skin dryness and discomfort to the eyes, mouth and nose but presents no risk to health. Use skin moisturizing lotion or a saline nasal spray to moisturize the nasal passages. Wearing eyeglasses rather than contact lenses can relieve or prevent discomfort to the eyes. The available evidence has not shown low humidity to cause internal dehydration and there is no need to drink more than usual. However, since caffeine and alcohol have a diuretic effect (causing more urine to be produced), it is wise to limit consumption of such beverages during long flights. [/QUOTTE]

In the so little loved in this forum AFR, FAs mist water over bread before place it inside oven for heating and the result is a fresh bread. It's not a heavy task.....

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FredrikHAD
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:35 am

On a trip from CPH to CWL (Cardiff, Wales) via AMS on KLM a few years ago, we had only those TUC crackers to feed upon all flight, and it was the same on the way back. Circling an hour over CWL before diverting to BRS due to fog was an experience too   The fog at BRS may have been just a notch lighter than at CWL, just barely enough to keep us from going to BHX. It was moint enough, but the crackers didn't dissolve anyway  

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barney captain
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:49 am

Thai -

I was served a basket of bread in F, nott offered a piece from a basket mind you - I was given an entire basket. Each piece was warm and soft - fantastic service!
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michaelg90222
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:45 am

Had some good bread on KL to HKG in economy recently.

I was very pleasantly surprised!
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Lentini2001
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:12 am

They should warm the butter too!!!
 
trent1000
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:17 am

It was either on QF, SQ or TG in Y to/from Australia that bread sealed in airtight plastic was served - in the same style as a potato chips pack. Of course, the bread was not heated before serving, but the pack 'popped' when opening owing to the variance in pressure at sealing and altitude.

And yes, the various breads in F on TG are divine! Their garlic bread is my favourite.
 
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:36 am

Quoting michaelg90222 (Reply 24):
Had some good bread on KL to HKG in economy recently.

North western fresh culture is better then anywhere else. I love to travel in Asia or USA but the only thing I start to miss after a week or two is a fresh crispy slice of bread, not these stale white things you need to toast to make them eadible. So that culture also shines thru in their airlines servings.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
okapi
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:49 am

You really should try TK. On all my recent flights (20+) with them in Y, I always received warm bread. It doesn't take a genius to achieve that. It's mostly a customer-oriented approach to on-board service. I recall Sabena on long-haul to Africa used to do the same.
On most AF flights though, bread quality is often inconsistent, like most of their service anyway.
 
goliontus
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:41 pm

I'm very happy if an airline actually just heats up the bread. All the flights I had with SA (economy) in the last couple of years serves the bread cold, not room termperature, cold!
 
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cosyr
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:43 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
Think you'll find nothing is baked on a plane! Warmed up maybe but never baked!

UA bakes cookies, I've watched them put the dough out.

In general, I have had excellent bread in J on UA. The Pretzel rolls are chewy and their Garlic Bread is excellent!
 
airbazar
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:06 pm

It's re-heated bread, usually refrigerated after baking.
International airline food needs to cater to a wide variety of tastes and cultures, and fresh bread is predominantly a European thing so I suspect that most airline catering outfits and crews alike put very little thought into it.
 
winginit
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:08 pm

Shout out to AA's pretzel rolls in premium? I could eat just a basket of those as a meal and be perfectly content.
 
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PA727
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:31 pm

Quoting winginit (Reply 32):
Shout out to AA's pretzel rolls in premium? I could eat just a basket of those as a meal and be perfectly content.

You beat me to it, that was going to be my callout. I love those pretzel rolls. Could eat a whole basket of them!
 
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b727fa
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:40 pm

Quoting Apprentice (Reply 21):
FAs mist water over bread before place it inside oven for heating and the result is a fresh bread. It's not a heavy task.....

I'll pack my mister next trip...  
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SJCMSP
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:00 pm

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 6):
I agree. Even Midwest Express had premade cookies that were warmed onboard. I was disappointed to see the Midwest logo on the giant cardboard box of cookies.

That's disappointing. Those were so good.
 
ckfred
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:13 pm

Years ago, AA used to have small pizzas from Pizzeria Uno in Chicago. My understanding was that the pizzas were made in the catering kitchen and either fully baked on board or partially baked in the kitchen, and then finished in the air.

If you read packages for cake or cookie mixes, there are often alternate directions for baking at high altitudes, say over 5000 feet. As others have said, changes in air density will affect the finished product. Baking at 35,000 feet in the dry air of an aircraft cabin will be different than baking at 5280 feet in DEN, 600 feet at ORD, or sea level at EWR.

Having had cookies in F on AA, I got the feeling that they were baked on board The chocolate in chocolate chip cookies has a different texture when baked compared to when a previously-baked cookie is reheated, and the cookies in F seemed more like freshly baked than reheated.
 
ACDC8
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:04 pm

Quoting Lentini2001 (Reply 25):
They should warm the butter too!!!

I always put my butter on top of my entree (still in the foil) and let it soften it up  
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Yflyer
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:52 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 31):
It's re-heated bread, usually refrigerated after baking.

Is the bread fully baked and then heated up onboard? If so it's essentially being toasted which would explain when it would be hard. I have no idea if this is feasible for airline catering, but results would probably be better if the bread was slightly underbaked and then finished off onboard (if that's not how it's already done). Then again if would still be affected by the dry air and low air pressure.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:41 pm

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):
Think you'll find nothing is baked on a plane! Warmed up maybe but never baked!

The breads are loaded in business class in aluminum foil bags already baked. It is tossed into a bun warmer-just an open cavity that reheats it. How well it reheats depends on the type of aircraft, the effectiveness of the individual warmer and how long they remain on. These warmers have no temperature control--just "on" or "off.

The A330 is great basis in point. The Business class bun warmers get quite hot--they are situated in a galley section right next to the computer that controls the AVOD system. Below the warmers are chilled cart compartments that keep second service meals and beverage very cold. Now anyone with a computer knows that they do not respond well to changes in temperature--I want to meet the guy that thought the sensitive AVOD computers should be mounted in the same unit that houses a hot bun warmer, a hot coffeemaker and refrigerated compartments. It is no wonder they come out to one extreme or the other.

I won't even talk about what it does to the AVOD system.

When we "bake" cookies they are already pre-baked and all we do is pop them in the oven and reheat them. We do not bake them from scratch especially since the BC ovens are steam ovens with preset temperatures and cooking times depending on what type of entrée is loaded in them. All you do is press the appropriate computer program for, say, fish entrees and the steam will heat them very nicely. Unfortunately, there is no present for cookies--you just have to sort of wing it and watch them closely.

[Edited 2016-01-27 11:53:09]

[Edited 2016-01-27 11:55:01]

[Edited 2016-01-27 11:57:24]
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Ferroviarius
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:05 pm

Dear planewasted,

how about suggesting to SAS to use the kind of Knäckebröd, which usually is served on the kvartifemman tours of S/S Blidösund from Stockholm to Norrtälje during the latest dinner following the departure of Norrsund? This one served with some "extra saltat smör" and a "stor stark" will definitely do the job! So, next time you are touristclassing SFO-CPH just think of that! And be thankful and happy that they anyway manage to serve you a good dinner at 12.000m height, with darkness and T attaining -70 degrees outside!
Best, Ferroviarius
 
jolau1701
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:22 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 11):
Possibly because most Chinese in China don't eat bread, or very little. It's not a traditional part of the diet in many parts of Asia where rice is the predominant grain, not wheat.

Actually, I hear bread is getting popular in South Korea.

http://uk.reuters.com/video/2015/10/...nnel=2603&channelName=MOST+POPULAR
 
trex8
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:08 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 11):
Possibly because most Chinese in China don't eat bread, or very little. It's not a traditional part of the diet in many parts of Asia where rice is the predominant grain, not wheat.

Not so for northern China. In fact my dad who flew with CNAC carrying supplies across the Hump in WW2 said Chinese troops sometimes almost mutinied if they flew in rice for supplies to them and they were from the north! Millet, wheat is more the northern Chinese staple grain.
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:36 am

Quoting winginit (Reply 32):
Shout out to AA's pretzel rolls in premium? I could eat just a basket of those as a meal and be perfectly content.
Quoting PA727 (Reply 33):
You beat me to it, that was going to be my callout. I love those pretzel rolls. Could eat a whole basket of them!

Another item that is frozen. I have seen the box for that one also, I believe that they are made in Austria. DL uses them also and yes, they are tasty.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
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ua900
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:52 am

UA garlic bread is never hard and tastes great, the pretzel rolls aren't that hard. UA cookies taste awful, dried out as can be yet the chocolate always seems to melt and will stain a shirt so easily.

The worst bread to me is a flaky croissant (e.g. on domestic UA flights) in conjunction with frozen butter and some jam and then they expect you to a) be able to slice the croissant b) be able to spread the butter on it and c) be done with that in about 10 mins when it easily takes 30 mins for the butter to defrost.
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Caryjack
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:51 am

"The configuration of the plane has 2 seats on the side and then 3 in the centre."
This from your link which opened with a photo of an A-330. Did you mean 2 - 4 - 2 seating or did you sit in the back?

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 37):
I always put my butter on top of my entree (still in the foil) and let it soften it up

Thanks for the tip, I'll use it.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 39):
I want to meet the guy that thought the sensitive AVOD computers should be mounted in the same unit that houses a hot bun warmer, a hot coffeemaker and refrigerated compartments. It is no wonder they come out to one extreme or the other.

  

I've always had good meals on international flights. I eat all the food, re-stack the cartons and drink nothing but red wine.
 
blrsea
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:09 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 37):
I always put my butter on top of my entree (still in the foil) and let it soften it up  

I do the same. By the time I finish the starters, the butter would have softened up nice and good.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:21 am

Finally.

After years of useless A vs. B wars, countless threads on aircraft accidents and missing planes, the talk on engines and materials, the a.net starts to discuss what really matters: the quality of bread on your flight.
 
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b727fa
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:32 pm

Quoting blrsea (Reply 46):

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 37):
I always put my butter on top of my entree (still in the foil) and let it soften it up  

I do the same. By the time I finish the starters, the butter would have softened up nice and good.

I assume you mean in Y. Nobody should ever receive a meal in F or C with a foil on it.
My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Is The Bread Almost Always Hard On Planes?

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:50 pm

Quoting DL_Mech (Reply 6):
I agree. Even Midwest Express had premade cookies that were warmed onboard. I was disappointed to see the Midwest logo on the giant cardboard box of cookies.

I think they used Otis Spunkmeyer, which are sort of a cross between fresh dough and premade.

Quoting N62NA (Reply 8):
They used to. Then they stopped and went for the "heated on board" cookies. Have they gone back to baking them onboard?

Still baked on board on transcons.

Quoting ua900 (Reply 44):

UA garlic bread is never hard and tastes great, the pretzel rolls aren't that hard.

The garlic bread is ok, though would like more of a crust.. The pretzel bread is meh.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss

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Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos