Total Time
3hrs 25mins
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 25 mins

You must have authentic Muffuletta Bread to appreciate the full New Orleans Muffuletta experience. The meats and cheese can easily be found in your supermarket deli. The leftover olive salad may be used on pizza, stuffed in pitas or to top salads.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the Muffuletta Bread: In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine water and sugar; stir in yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine 3 cups bread flour, salt and shortening. Add yeast mixture. Process until dough forms a ball, about 5 seconds. Stop machine and check consistency of dough. It should be smooth and satiny. If dough is too dry, add more warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, processing just until blended. If dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, processing just until blended. Process 20 seconds to knead.
  3. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a large bowl. Place dough in the oiled bowl and turn dough to coat all sides.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. In the meantime, lightly grease a baking sheet.
  6. When dough has doubled in bulk, punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  7. Form dough into a round loaf about 10" in diameter and place on the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle top of loaf with sesame seeds pressing seeds gently into surface of loaf.
  8. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  9. Place rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  10. Remove plastic wrap and bake loaf in center of preheated oven, for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake 25 minutes.
  11. The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on bottom and his golden brown. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
  12. For the Olive Salad: Finely chop the vegetables to a uniform consistency. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate.
  13. To Assemble the Muffuletta: Cut the loaf of bread in half crosswise. Use a small, serrated knife to score the inside of both halves about 1" in from the crust.
  14. Hollow the bread halves by pulling out the insides with your hands. Leave shells about 1" thick. Save the bread chunks for other uses.
  15. Brush insides of bread shells with marinade from the Olive Salad. Brush most of it in the top half, since you’ll put the salad in the bottom half.
  16. Spoon about 1 cup of the olive salad into bottom half of loaf. Since you’ve brushed it with marinade, don’t spoon too much extra liquid into the shell.
  17. Layer about 2 ounces of cheese over the salad. The melted cheese will hold the salad in place. Top with one type of meat; repeat with remaining meats and cheese, finishing with last of cheese and meat. The trick is to fold the thinly sliced meats over like a ‘wave’, piling it high.
  18. To heat, wrap the uncut Muffuletta in a large piece of foil. Place the wrapped sandwich on a sheet pan and warm it in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Carefully remove the foil and cut the sandwich into wedges. Using an electric knife works best.