The muffuletta/muffaletta has 3 main parts: The bread (muffletta is actually the name of the bread), the olive salad, and the filling. I wanted to try making everything from scratch so that's what I went for, but I will say, in the future I would definitely consider buying a nice loaf of Italian Boule bread and using that simply because it would be a time saver.
So, for my bread I used a recipe (which I am not going to post here) for Italian Boule. Instead of making 1 big loaf, I decided to make 2 small loaves since it was just Mr. Helen and me eating. In any case, you want to have a 15-16 oz. Italian Boule bread or two 7-8 oz. small boules.
The Olive Salad
2 cups pimento stuffed green olives
1 cup pitted black olives
1 1/2 cups ready made Giardiniera (for me, it turned out to be a med. size jar)
2 T capers
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
1 T Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 T jarred diced pimento
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 T red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil.
You can chop everything by hand, or do like I did which was to pulse ingredients one at a time in my food processor, then dump into a large bowl. So, I individually pulsed (so it would be a bit chunky), each type of olives and the Giardinera - dump into bowl. Then I minced the garlic, celery and parsley in the processor and dumped into the bowl. Then I sliced the green onions into the bowl, measured in the diced pimento, oregano, pepper flakes, red wine vinegar and kosher salt. Then I gave it all a stir with a big spoon to combine it well. When finished, pour the extra virgin olive oil over it all (the mixture should be covered) and put it in a large non-reactive bowl or jar to sit. You should make this ahead of time by at least a day or two but up to a week before you want to use it. This made enough to fill one big quart jar and another half quart jar. Here is some of mine in a jar:
Sandwich Filling (enough for large bread - for small breads divide equally)
4 oz. capicola ham
4 oz. Genoa salami
4 oz. mortadella
4 oz. provolone cheese
4 oz. mozzarella cheese
All these ingredients should be thinly sliced.
To assemble the sandwich:
Slice your boule in half. Take some of the bread out of the center of each side leaving a nice rim for the fillings to sit in. Pour a bit of the oil off the olive salad into a small dish. Using a pastry brush, brush the seasoned oil onto each side of the bread. Fill the hollows of the bread with your olive salad (~1-2 cups salad). Layer meats and cheese anyway you'd like on the bottom half then put the top back on. Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld. When ready to serve, unwrap and slice into triangles. Here is what my finished sandwich looked like when I cut it in half.