Homemade Muffaletta Bread

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If there ever was a bread that you need to bake, it should be this homemade Muffaletta Bread! There’s nothing better than a simple rustic italian-style loaf. Every bite of this soft-crusted white bread may be simple, but it’s truly FULL of flavor thanks to the lightly toasted sesame seeds on top! SO. GOOD. Oh, and the best part? This recipe requires minimal ingredients and is truly the perfect sandwich bread for any and all of your needs!

cut muffaletta bread on wood board with slice behind

About The Recipe

There’s nothing quite like the smell of bread baking in the oven, you know? It can truly cure any mid-week blues. Especially when it’s something as simple (and delicious) as this muffaletta bread! And, true enough, this is generally a sandwich, but we thought it would be fun to share our take on the bread that the sandwich is generally made on!

If you don’t know, my mom absolutely adores anything and everything to do with bread baking. So, with our Mardi Gras theme going, she said that a muffaletta seemed like the perfect challenge.

The first thing we did was a LOT of research. Neither of us had ever really had a muffaletta before, but we wanted to do it right. What we found out is that muffaletta sandwiches are generally served on a rustic italian loaf. So, while this SOUNDS simple, it required a bit of testing to really make the perfect bread.

In the end, we wound up with a bread that is soft and FULL of flavor, but not too much to overpower any delicious sandwiches you might be making with it.

But, how?

close up of muffaletta bread on wood board

Well, we figured out that, instead of trying to rush this recipe, if you make a biga (which is a really simple pre-fermented dough that you make the night before and stir into your final dough), it creates a wonderful depth of flavor in what would just be a plain and ordinary white bread.

It’s a very simple, very rustic, but so delicious loaf that works for any kind of sandwich you can dream up!

What is a Muffaletta?

Muffaletta is a famous sandwich in New Orleans that originated at Central Grocery! It’s generally filled with charcuterie (cured meats like ham or salami), cheeses, and an olive salad. Though, this recipe is our take on the bread that the sandwich generally served on!

Why You Will Love This Bread

  • This recipe is SUPER simple and requires minimal ingredients.
  • Soft, fluffy, and works GREAT for sandwiches (or snacking)!
  • Naturally vegan.
  • Freezes really well!
cut muffaleet abread on lined wood board with empty bottles behind and large slice on stack of paltes

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Biga:

  • Bread Flour
  • Water
  • Instant Yeast
flour, water, and yeast on marble surface

For The Bread:

  • Biga
  • Bread Flour
  • Water
  • Kosher Salt
  • Sesame Seeds
biga, flour, sesame seeds, water, and salt on marble surface

How To Make Muffaletta Bread

Step 1: Make the biga

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, water, and yeast. Knead until the dough comes together and starts to smooth out, about 4-5 minutes.

Let rise at cool room temperature overnight.

dough doubled in size in glass bowl

Step 2: Make the dough and proof

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, salt, water, and biga. Stir to combine. Mix on low speed for 3-4 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead for 7-8 minutes, until dough is smooth.

Turn out into greased prepared bowl. Let rise at warm room temperature for 1 ½ – 2 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.

Step 3: Shape and proof

When dough is proofed, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the bottom third of the dough up toward the top. Then, fold in the right and left corners. Finally, fold the top down to create a round. Pinch to seal.

Turn dough over and, using a bench knife and your hand, pull the dough into a tight round.

Place in banneton and let rise at warm room temperature for 1 ½ – 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Step 4: Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake

When dough is risen, turn out onto a piece of parchment paper. Mist or lightly brush the top with water. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until done.

baked bread on wire cooling rack

What To Make With This Bread

The first answer is, of course, the traditional muffaletta sandwich! But this bread also works for any other kind of sandwich you like. From chicken clubs to ham sandwiches! The possibilities are endless and, just to be honest, this bread tastes great served alongside a Charcuterie Board!

How To Store

Once this bread is baked and cooled, you can store it a few different ways! In a zip top bag and left at room temperatures for about 1 week, in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or wrapped with aluminum foil and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months!

pulled back photo of muffaletta bread with slice on stack of white paltes behind, empty vase behind, and bowl of sesame seeds

Expert Tips

  • Be sure to read through all the directions before beginning this recipe.
  • Use glass bowls for the proofing.
  • If you don’t have a proofing box and you think your room temperature is too warm, you can let the dough rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours and then put it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • When you’re ready to make the bread, let the biga sit out for about an hour at room temperature to take the chill off the dough before using.
  • When kneading dough, aim for an internal dough temperature of 78 degrees F.
  • Rice flour works the best to flour your banneton to prevent sticking.
  • If you are using a proofing box with a water tray, you will not need to cover the dough to proof it.
  • Remember to preheat either the dutch oven or baking stone!
  • Bread should be 210 degrees when done baking.

When you make this Homemade Muffaletta Bread, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

cut muffaletta bread on wood board with slice behind

Homemade Muffaletta Bread

Traci
The perfect sandwich bread! This Homemade Muffaletta Bread is soft, easy to make, and FULL of flavor. You couldn't ask for a better loaf.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proofing Time 16 hrs
Total Time 17 hrs 5 mins
Course Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients
 

Biga

Bread

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups water, lukewarm
  • All of the biga

Topping

  • water
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

Instructions

Biga

  • In a small bowl, combine flour, yeast, water.
  • Mix together.
  • Knead until the dough comes together and starts to smooth out, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Let rise at cool room temperature (70 degrees F) overnight. Cover with plastic wrap if not using a proofing box with a water tray.

Bread

  • Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, salt, water, and biga.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Mix on low speed for 3-4 minutes.
  • Increase speed to medium.
  • Knead for 7-8 minutes, until dough is smooth.
  • Turn out into prepared bowl.
  • Let rise at warm room temperature (78 degrees F) for 1 1/2-2 hours, until nearly doubled in bulk. Cover with plastic wrap if not using a proofing box with a water tray.
  • While dough if proofing, flour a round banneton with rice flour. Set aside.
  • When dough is proofed, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Fold the bottom third of the dough up toward the top.
  • Fold in the right and left corners.
  • Fold the top down to create a round.
  • Pinch to seal.
  • Turn dough over.
  • Using a bench knife and your hand, pull the dough into a tight round.
  • Place bottom side up in prepared banneton.
  • Let rise at warm room temperature (78 degrees F) for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk. If not using a proofing box with a water tray, cover with plastic wrap, a plastic shower cap, or a tea towel.
  • While dough is proofing, place stone in oven and heat to 425 degrees F.
  • When dough is risen, turn out onto a piece of parchment paper.
  • Mist or lightly brush the top with water.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Use a peel, or the back of a sheet pan, to slide the dough onto the heated stone.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to 375 degrees.
  • Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until done.
  • Allow to cool completely before filling.

Notes

If you don’t have a proofing box and you think your room temperature is too warm, you can let the dough rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to make the bread, let the biga sit out for about an hour to take the chill off the dough before using.
When kneading dough, aim for an internal dough temperature of 78 degrees F.
Bread should be 210 degrees when done baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1wedgeCalories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 8gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 586mgPotassium: 75mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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