Muffuletta Bread Recipe

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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
Sesame Seeds
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Egg Wash:
1 Egg
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.

The Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
The Olive Salad Recipe
Central Grocery Muffuletta

To see the rest of my Muffuletta pics, click here.

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24 thoughts on “Muffuletta Bread Recipe”

  1. Hello! I was wandering if it would be possible to make the bread in hamburger sized buns. If so do you have any adjustments on the ingredients as well as the baking time and cooking temp.

    Thanks, Jerry

  2. I would love to make a real NOLA style roast beef sandwich. Is the muffuletta bread recipe adaptable to making long bread? — I’m a New Yorker desperate to enjoy the good honest food of a city in danger of being lost to government stupidity and greed. I’m grateful you’re there to help preserve a part of it. – Michael

  3. It’s a bit different Michael, my N.O. long loaf recipe is still in the works, not the easiest thing in the world to recreate, I’ve been chipping away at it for quite awhile. I do have a recipe for a Roast Beef Po Boy though if you would like to check it out:

    But as I’ve said in the past, the Po Boy is all about the bread. Actually, the bread in the pic is one of my better attempts. Unfortunately the following attempt was shameful.

  4. Any luck coming up with a recipe for po’ boy bread? I bake a bread that has a similar crumb, but I can’t emulate the crust.

  5. Your muffuletta sandwich recipe looks great and I am gathering all the ingredients together today to make 4 of the sandwiches for a party. I want to make the bread, but wondered if I could adapt the recipe for use in my bread machine, as it would save me some time. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  6. Pingback: Muffaletta
  7. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this fabulous recipe. I finally took my boys to NOLA last Christmas (my mother was from there) and we tried Central Grocery twice – got there too late one day and they were out the next time – I was crushed. So I picked up a jar of olive salad from Central (now I know I can make my own!) and tried your bread once we got home (Minneapolis). The boys loved the muffulettas so much (who wouldn’t!!) that we’re having them for birthday dinner tonight. THANK YOU!!!

  8. Hi,
    Thank you for this great recipe. Love this entire site, too.

    Tried the bread today. Will be putting the olive salad together this week in anticipation of serving the whole muffuletta to my beloved next week.

    I am new to bread baking, but this turned out great on the first go ’round. I ended up being sad that I had a beautiful muffuletta loaf without the innards. Regardless, we savoured it with a little olive oil, olives, and herbs.

    I’m a former Gulf Coast resident currently living in Australia. Want to turn folks here on to good food. . . This site will help.

  9. I made this bread for last years New Years Eve party. Turned out great. I made three loaves and made the sandwiches up an hour or two before the party. I cut them into small bite size pieces for snacking and they were a huge hit. Needless to say I’ve have been asked to make the bread again this year. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. Dan, I’ve made this recipe for each of the Saints playoff games and we won. Needless to say, I’m making it again today for the Super Bowl. WHO DAT!!!!!!

    Wonderful recipe. My friends are always amazed when I break out the muffuletta and can hardly believe I made it myself. Thanks!

  11. Can you recommend another type of bread to use in case I don’t have time to make it? I was just at the store today checking out the whole loaves, but none of the textures were quite right. French/sourdough? Sheepherders? Italian (way too soft). Any suggestions for a quick go-to?

  12. I live on the west coast and I miss the food from back home. I can cook most of it, but I’m missing staples like the breads and seafood selection.

    I walked into the grocery store the other day and found gambino’s olive salad at the end cap of the deli and immediately gave my order to the deli for all of the meats and cheeses needed for a muffuletta. She looked a little horrified. lol Unfortunately I had to subsitute the bread with the closest thing I could find. It was good, but it wasn’t the same.

    Tonight I’m making roast beef poboys and tomorrow I’m baking muffuletta bread. Thank you so much for duplicating my favorite foods from home and posting all of your recipes! This site makes me very happy!

  13. have been missing the central grocery muff for years gave ur a whirl with some itialian style bread ur right it is missing something. trying ur bread recipe this weekend. thanks for doing all the hard work for the rest of us.

  14. I’m in charge of the sandwiches for our camping trip this weekend with friends, and I couldn’t get muffuletta out of my head. Yours is the recipe I stumbled upon for bread, and I’m so glad! I just pulled it out of the oven, and it’s perfect! I cannot wait to eat it. . . thank you!

  15. Made a loaf as a tester mid week and it came out beautiful and delicious so now I’ve got a double batch rising for a couple big muffs for a party tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe!

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