Muffaletta (Muffuletta) Recipe, Italian Sandwich Bread

I don’t know about you, but I love a giant sandwich. And it does not get much better than this. The Italians are great bakers, and the food is world class. And this is up there with any other great bread.

The bread itself comes from Sicily but the sandwich originated among Italian immigrants in New Orleans. This muffuletta will easily feed four people. A really long fermentation gives this bread a very distinct flavour. And when I say long fermentation, I mean a very long fermentation.

We are using a preferment in this recipe which takes around 10 hours to proof, and then we are cold proofing the dough itself for up to 24 hours. The result is a super airy, light and tangy bread.

I was actually tempted to turn this into a giant burger, but I had to control myself ha-ha!

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the preferment (poolish)

60g (2.1oz) strong white bread flour

60g (2.1oz) cold water

Tiny pinch of yeast


For the main dough

200g (7oz) strong white bread flour

5g (0.2oz) salt

0.5g (0.02oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

20g (0.7oz) olive oil

100g (3.5oz) cold water, if your kitchen is warm

 To learn more about dough temperature when using a preferment click here.


1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of milk for glazing

Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top


For the filling


Smoked ham

Salad leaves




Chopped black olives. Of course, you can fill this bread with whatever you like.


  1. To make the poolish mix the water, pinch of yeast and flour. Ferment for 8 – 10 hours until nicely puffed up. If for some reason the poolish is ready, but you are not, then you can pop it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation. Do whatever you have to do and then come back to it.
  2. Once you are ready to make the dough, in a bowl add the remaining water, salt, yeast, oil and the poolish. Mix to combine.
  3. Add the rest of the flour and mix to a dough.
  4. Tip it out on the table and knead for around 5 minutes. Desired dough temperature 24 – 25C (75 – 77F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust the proofing times up or down accordingly. 
  5. Ferment for 1 hour.
  6. Fold.
  7. Ferment for 1 more hour.
  8. Shape the dough in a flat disc. Place it on a parchment covered tray and cover with a greased piece of clingfilm.
  9. Refrigerate for 18 – 24 hours. One hour before baking preheat your oven to 160C (320F) with the fan on.
  10. Brush the dough with the egg yolk & milk glaze. Let it dry for 5 minutes, then brush again and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes.

Let it cool down. Then slice in half and spread both sides with the black olives and pesto and layer on the meats, cheese, tomatoes & salad. Enjoy!

Watch the video here

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