I’m gearing up for a super delicious muffuletta sandwich that I’ll be sharing soon. In the course of that, I found out that I needed bread. Well, any time I see I need bread, my little bread baking heart goes pitter patter with joy!
In my research, I learned that muffuletta rolls are a type of Italian or Sicilian bread that is only found in New Orleans. In fact, it is super difficult to even find a recipe online for the bread! Most recipes for Muffuletta sandwiches suggest sourcing muffuletta bread from New Orleans or giving up and using a hoagie or Italian bread (both of which are much too thick for this sandwich).
This was unacceptable to me, so I went hunting. I found that some people have indeed made their own bread, but the recipes were all over the board.
Having made my own Sicilian and Italian breads in the past, I decided to put my knowledge to work and make my own muffuletta-style bread.
This recipe most resembles my Soft & Chewy Italian bread and is firm enough to hold up to the ingredients in the muffuletta sandwich yet soft enough that you don’t break your teeth. This recipe will make three 10-inch muffuletta rolls.
½ cup very warm water (115-120 degrees F)
4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
4 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 cups warm water
4 ½ teaspoons olive oil
2 ¼ teaspoons salt
6 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked together
1-2 tablespoon sesame seeds, per loaf
Place the very warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes or until foamy.
Add in the lukewarm water, olive oil, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix with the paddle until combined.
Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Knead for 5 minutes. The dough will still be quite wet and sticky, but if you pinch off a piece of dough, you should be able to roll it into a loose ball in your hands.
Dust a work surface liberally with flour. Place the dough onto the surface and knead 3-4 times. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead 3-4 times again. Repeat, kneading a few times every 10 minutes for one hour.
Divide the dough in three. Dust a work surface with flour. Roll a portion into a flat disc, about 1-inch thick and 10-inches wide. Repeat with the remaining portions.
Place the loaves on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or lined with parchment or lined with a silicone bread baking mat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash all over the loaves and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375. Rotate the pans and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the bread is browned. If desired, check for an internal temperature of 190-200 degrees to ensure that it is cooked through.
Move loaves to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.