Muffuletta Bread Recipe

Muffuletta Bread

If you’ve ever been to New Orleans and had one of their famous muffuletta sandwiches, you know how good they are — and the great lengths we’ll go to recreate them at home. The olive salad and cold cuts are the easy part — but if you don’t live in Louisiana, good luck finding muffuletta bread. This round bread (also known as “muffs” — don’t Google that) is the perfect conduit for the layers of filling, however, to make them at home, you’ll either have to order the bread online, or try your hand at this homemade white bread… which is what I did.

activating the yeast.

What Is Muffuletta Bread?

Muffuletta Bread is essentially a homemade white bread that’s round and flat.  Not like a round boule that’s got a distinctive dome and a dense mile-high interior but rather a circular loaf, about 10″ in diameter and 1 1/2″ high — all the way across.  No domes, no poofs — just a hearty loaf that will hold all the fillings without the diner having to unhinge his/her jaw to take a bite.

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mixing the dough for homemade white bread.

Making Homemade White Bread Dough

I fully expected to be able to find a sturdy round bread that wasn’t overloaded with dough at the grocery store or even an Italian bakery. Eight different stores later — I’d had no luck and ended up back at home, pulling out my stand mixer and the rest of the ingredients to make my own muffuletta bread. In retrospect, it was easier to do than I’d thought.

  1. Mix warm water and sugar in a glass measuring cup.
  2. Add yeast and stir. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (can also do it by hand) combine the bread flour, salt and shortening.
  4. Add the foamy yeast mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined and you have a soft, elastic dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise.

shaping the dough.

Forming The Round Bread

  • Place the muffuletta bread dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
  • Pat or roll the dough into a 9″ circle. (I found this easier to do with a rolling pin).
  • Transfer the round to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the top of the dough with an egg wash (egg and a few tablespoons of water, whisked together).
  • Sprinkle the dough with sesame seeds and place in a warm draft free spot to rise.
  • Bake until golden brown.

garnishing the round bread with sesame seeds.

How to Slice Muffuletta Bread For Sandwiches

  • This flat, round bread is perfect for making a large muffuletta (or any other type of sandwich) that will easily feed 4-6 people, depending on appetites.
  • The key is to slice it, very carefully, using a long, serrated bread knife.
  • Place your hand on top of the loaf to steady it.
  • Center your knife halfway between the top and bottom of the bread.
  • Use long, slow sawing motion to cut cleaning through the bread, so that it’s even all the way across.
  • I recommend having a person opposite you watching how the bread is cutting through the other side and letting you know if your cuts go astray. The extra person is a failsafe to assure you’re getting two even-ish halves, but if your a pro, you can skip it. (I had three people watching on all sides….)

Baked muffuletta bread with golden crust.

That’s it. Now you’re ready to make  your Muffuletta sandwich.

Loaf of bread out of the oven on a piece of parchment paper.


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4.26 from 35 votes

Muffuletta Bread

Unless you happen to live in Louisiana you won't be able to find Muffuletta bread -- This quintessential sandwich boule, known as "muffs" is what you want for your Muffuletta.  You can put it together in about 10 minutes -- then it's just  proofing and baking. 
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bread
Dietary Restrictions Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup warm water 110°
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ ounce package active dry yeast
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add warm water to a measuring cup and stir in the sugar.  Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  • While the yeast is developing, add the bread flour, salt, and shortening to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a hook attachment.
  • When the yeast is foamy, add it to the flour mixture and knead the dough on low to medium speed until the dough is fully incorporated and the dough is soft and smooth.
  • Lightly oil a medium bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, flipping it over once or twice to lightly coat with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and put in a draft free space until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • When the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. 
  • Form the dough into a 10" diameter round loaf and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and lightly brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and set aside in a draft free space to rise a second time until almost doubled in size, about one hour.
  • Place rack in the center of oven and preheat to 425°. Bake loaf in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375° and continue baking for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
  • Let loaf cool before slicing.

NUTRITION:

Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 874mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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Muffuletta bread is a sturdy not-too-thick, round bread that's perfect for sandwiches. This homemade white bread is easier than you think to make! #muffulettabread #muffulettabreadrecipe #sandwichbread

More Types Of Bread For Sandwiches:

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25 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This made perfect muffuletta boules. The dough was easy to work with and it smelled amazing while it baked. Perfect for holding all the sandwich toppings without leaking.

  2. I’ll be trying this very soon! Would it work to use olive oil in the dough instead of shortening?

    1. 5 stars
      I used unsalted real butter instead of shortening and it was perfect both times I made it.

  3. 5 stars
    Well, this bread failed for me, but it’s a me not a you thing. What came out of the oven was still good, but I had issues with the dough (I’m not the baker in the family), but still went all the way through to baking so we could taste it at least. I’m glad I did because the bread itself was good in the end. Not okay for sandwiches however (waste not want not, they’re breadcrumbs now). My husband is undeterred though and plans to make a pass at it. Thanks for sharing, I know it will go better in his hands. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    We bought some Central Grocery olive mix in New Orleans and can’t find any muffuletta bread anywhere, and want to try out your recipe! How many teaspoons are in the 1 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast?

    1. There are 2 1/4 teaspoons in a package of yeast.

    2. You can order the bread from the place that Central Grocers gets it. They are Gambino’s bakery from New Orleans. I got some and it is amazing! I too have the Olive spread from Central and I have an Italian deli nearby for the meats and cheeses. Good Luck!

  5. Can’t wait to try this recipe but I have a question first. I’d like to make individual muffulettas. How many 4-5” rolls do you think this recipe would make? Thanks

    1. You’ll probably get about 4 rolls from this recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    This was a GREAT recipe! I’m not a baker by nature, but this was easy to follow and the results were perfect. It’s basically impossible to find a muffuletta loaf in Maryland, but I was able to make my own and recreate the best sandwich in the world. A true taste of New Orleans without the plane ticket! Thank you so much!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Art. We’re not heading back to NOLA anytime soon, but we visit by making our favorite regional specialties, too!

  7. Lisa Rolfs says:

    5 stars
    I am not an experienced baker, but this recipe was so easy to follow and the results were amazing! Fantastic recipe for authentic, delicious muffaletta sandwiches.

  8. I just came back from NOLA and brought some Olive salad with me from Central Grocery.
    Im from Costa Rica, so no muffuletta bread anywhere. I just made this one and it was AWESOME! The size, the texture, the flavor… OMG!
    THANK YOU!!!!

  9. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Made my muffuletta bread last night. Just perfect. Would not change a thing.
    I was on a mission to recreate our New Orleans experience in New York. I think mission accomplished.

    1. So glad it worked well for you, Victoria! We are constantly trying to recreate the New Orleans experience at home — so many fabulous flavors.

  10. 5 stars
    Made this bread and was great.
    I did divide it into two to make smaller
    loaves. Bake for 25 min. total.
    Made an olive salad to put into it.
    YUM!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  11. 5 stars
    Homemade bread is the best and this looks simple and delicious! I am saving this for later.

  12. 5 stars
    It just isn’t a muffaletta without the right bread. I will be giving this a try with gluten free bread flour. Keeping my fingers crossed, because I do love muffalettas.

  13. 5 stars
    Lisa I am in love with this muffuletta bread, so easy to make without fuss and result is incredible. I would love to make pizza with this bread. Bookmarking right away.