|From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)|
|From Nola Cuisine|
|From Nola Cuisine|
Odds are, if you live outside of the city of New Orleans, you’re not going to find an authentic Muffuletta Bread, with the exception of mail order. That’s a dilemma, because without the right bread, it’s just not a Muffuletta. It needs to be a round Italian style loaf that is about 10″ across and has sesame seeds on the top. Good luck finding it! So do what I do, make your own! I based this recipe on the one from Terry Thompson’s wonderful book Cajun-Creole Cooking, with a few changes. This is actually a very easy bread recipe. The object is a nice crisp crust and a light center, you don’t want a real chewy, hearty bread for this sandwich. Well, you might, but I don’t; who am I to speak for you. Anyway, here is my version:
Muffuletta Bread Recipe
1 Cup Warm Water (110 degrees F)
1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Bread Flour
1 1/2 tsp Iodized Salt
2 Tbsp Lard or Vegetable Shortening
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Egg Wash:
2 Tbsp Cold Water
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the workbowl of a stand mixer, stir well and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until good and foamy. Meanwhile, combine the flours, salt, and lard in a bowl and work in the fat with your hands until broken up into very small pieces. When the yeast is foamy, fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment and gradually add the flour on low speed until its all incorporated. Scrape the sides down between additions. When the dough comes together, turn it onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary.. Alternatively, you can let the machine do the work, but for me, bread is a touch thing. Coat a large bowl with the Olive Oil, then put the dough in, turning once to coat both sides. Cover loosely with a clean dry towel, or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape into a flat round about 9 inches across (it will expand to about 10″.) Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, about 2-3 Tbsp should do it, then press them lightly into the dough. Loosely cover the loaf and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. When the dough has risen, remove the cover, gently brush with the egg wash then gently place into a preheated 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees F for an additional 25 minutes or until it’s golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Makes 1 Muffuletta Loaf.
To see the rest of my Muffuletta pics, click here.