Make the perfect loaf of light and soft muffaletta bread with this super easy recipe. Stuff this bread with olive salad, sliced deli meat, and cheese to make an authentic New Orleans sandwich. It will be a real crowd pleaser at your Super Bowl party or family dinner!
- 3 1/3 cups bread flour (400g)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons fast-action yeast (7g)
- 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (14g)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (60 ml)
- 1 1/4 cups room-temperature water (296 ml)
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, untoasted
Making the Dough (25 min + 1 1/2 hrs proving)
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl, then add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir each one in with your finger. Be careful not to let the salt touch the yeast directly, as it can kill or stunt the yeast.
- Add the sugar, oil, and half of the water. Stir with your hand until the mixture begins to come together. Keep stirring and gradually add more water until all the flour is picked up and a sticky dough forms.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until it's no longer sticky and passes the windowpane test. Check it by stretching a lump of dough between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. If it's translucent in places without breaking, it's been kneaded enough. If it breaks, knead a minute longer and check again.
- Pour about 2 teaspoons of olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and turn it in the oil to coat, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it prove at room temperature until at least doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Shaping the Loaf (8 min + 1 hr proving)
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your fists to get rid of the air pockets.
- Place it on a large, lightly floured baking stone or cookie sheet. Shape it into a flat disc about 9 inches in diameter.
- Spritz the top of the loaf with a little water and rub it into the surface. Sprinkle about two tablespoons of sesame seeds onto the top of the loaf and gently press them into the dough.
- Loosely cover the loaf with a piece of plastic wrap, and let it prove at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. Once it's proved, it should spring back quickly when gently prodded with a fingertip.
- About 10 minutes before the loaf is done proving, preheat the oven to 425 F.
Baking the Bread (25 min)
- Remove the plastic wrap and bake the proved loaf at 425 F for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400 F and bake for another 15 minutes, until the loaf is a rich golden brown and has an internal temperature of 200 F.
- Let the loaf cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.
- If the dough is really sticky when you're kneading, simply add more flour to the work surface. Just be careful not to add too much.
- Feel free to make this in a mixer if you don't want to knead by hand.
- Keep the dough out of hot places when it's rising, or it will grow too quickly. A slow prove will improve the flavor.
- If you're in a hurry, make the dough the night before and let it prove in the fridge overnight. Shape it into the loaf, prove, and bake the next day.
- Freeze the baked and cooled loaf for up to 1 month if desired.
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: muffaletta bread, recipe