The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

411..information please? New Orleans..

Paddyscake's picture

411..information please? New Orleans..

I need to draw from all the expertise in the group. We are getting ready for our annual rafting trip on the Deschutes River. Each year we have a theme for the weekend, this year it's Mardi Gras. All of us contribute portions to our meals, and of course..part of mine is the bread. Menu challenge : Muffaletta.

I've looked back on past posts with no luck. I've seen muffalettas that are round loaves of good height, somewhat hollowed out and then filled with olive tapenade, meats and cheese. The top placed on like a lid. Wrapped in foil and left to "ripen" for a few hours, then sliced in wedges. Looking up muffaletta bread on Wikipedia, it looks more like a round foccacia type bread, not much height and with sesame seeds.

Does anyone have any direction for me? Thanks,


montanagrandma's picture

Muffuletta Bread

1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 cups bread flour
1 pkg. (1-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
Sesame seeds

Knead , let rise, punch down. form into a one inch high circle on a lightly floured surface, and place on a lightly oiled foil square. Press sesame seeds into surface and brush with oil. Cover with damp paper towel and allow to rise. Place rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425F (22OC). Remove paper towel. Bake loaf on the foil square in center of preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375F (190C) and bake for another 25 minutes. The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Cool completely on a rack before slicing. If bread is too thick, just pull a little of the insides out before stuffing, this will make it easier to handle.

OR try a 10" round loaf of crusty italian bread...

You can find a varitey of olive spread recipes on the web. Pick one and go from there. Its a matter of spreading top and bottom of bread with the olive spread, alternately layer the bottom bread with the meat, cheese, and remaining olive salad to taste.

Good Eating

Paddyscake's picture

Thanks to you both for the recipes. I appreciate having a picture to refer to, since I didn't realize how flat the loaf is. I'll be experimenting this weekend.

Thanks, Betty

Paddyscake's picture


I had no idea what a muffuletta should look like other than the link to New Orleans Central Grocery that catpoz provided. I don't think I did half bad.

After having spent so much time doing sourdoughs, I wasn't quite up to speed with yeasted breads. Everything moves so much faster, especially with warmer temps. I'm used to waiting 2-3 hours for a proof, not 45 minutes. The other peculiar thing to me was the shaping, or really lack of. You mix the dough, let it rise and then deflate and shape into a 9 inch round. Not conventional shaping, you just sort of pat it into a round. The first loaf I tried to shape into a tightened boule to flatten. Uh-uh, doesn't work that way. It turned into a giant bagel looking piece of dough. So then I tried to bring it all back together and the gluten was so tight, I had to let it sit for a while.

I was pleased with the end result, although taste wouldn't compare, I'm sure.

I made the olive tapenade from the site, but there is no way I was going to find mortadella and cappicola where I live. We made do with baked ham, genoa salami, provolone and mozzeralla.


For another post, I did make the yeasted whole wheat zucchini bread. Whole wheat tries my patience. The bread tastes very good, but the crumb is dense and the dough was murder to knead. This bread had zucchini, carrot, red onion, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. The recipe needs work to say the least, but as I said, another day.



montanagrandma's picture

If the taste is to your liking than it is a great work of art.

mrfrost's picture


  • Main Entry: muf·fu·let·ta
  • Variant(s): also muf·fa·let·ta \ˌmə-fə-ˈle-tə\
  • Function: noun
  • Etymology: probably from Italian dialect, from Italian muffoletta little muff, diminutive of muffola muff, from French moufle, from Middle French
  • Date: 1973

: a sandwich made with round Italian bread and filled usually with cold cuts, cheese, and olive salad