How long is TOO long to press a muffletta sandwich?

The recipe calls for filling the sandwich and pressing for an hour. WHat would happen if I let it sit for longer ... like 4 or 5 hours? Would the focaccia turn to mush?

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spuntino
spuntino March 5, 2011

How hot is the grill/sandwich press?

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen March 5, 2011

I think it might get mushy - if it's a traditional muffeletta you've got some drippy dressing in there. Plus, it's an awfully long time for pork products to be unrefrigerated.

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latoscana
latoscana March 5, 2011

Maybe they mean 4-5 minutes. When you order one at Central Grocery in New Orleans, it's ready within minutes. And it's perfect.

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 5, 2011

If you've constructed it right, a muffuletta is designed to be pressed overnight. We wrap ours in plastic wrap, put it in the fridge and press it overnight! Good gosh, you're reminding me of the summer of '91, when we did Muffulettas for a backyard wedding reception for 125. It was SO hot, and we had muffulettas pressing in three different fridges. It was quite a sight!

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 5, 2011

Just noticed you said "focaccia." That's not a good bread for muffuletta. you need to have a boule that you hollow out. The bread needs to be very sturdy so it doesn't fall apart. Focaccia is much too soft.

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy March 6, 2011

I let mine press overnight in the refridgerator. I can't stand it when they are not pressed long enough. Ruins the whole experience.

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pierino
pierino March 6, 2011

Keep in mind that a muffaletta is not a panino. It doesn't need to be pressed with anything more than your hand. And you want it sloppy and wet. See my Waiting for Bonaparte. Recpe

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pierino
pierino March 6, 2011

Back to muffaletta. I'm with latoscana's answer. I've eaten many in New Orleans, not just at Central Grocery but also at Napoleon House. This is a sandwich that's made to order and not prefabbed. It comes out on a crusty, round Italian roll. You can order a half if you prefer because it's a big sandwich spilling olive salad out the edges.

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy March 6, 2011

Well, my friend pierino. It seems that you missed Luigi's on the same block as Central Grocery which also serves muffaletta's and they press thiers if I recall and I have to say that the Central Grocery Muffaletta isn't as good. Yes, they may be the originators of the sandwich but thier popularity is driving thier volume up and thier sandwiches quality down. I found out about luigi's from a local after telling him I wasn't impressed with central grocery muffaletta which I found to be dry. I don't see fresh being better then prefabbed in this case. But, as we have seen before we agree to disagree on a few things. Sorry pal.

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pierino
pierino March 6, 2011

Daddy-O, my righteous bro we definitely come down on different sides of the muffaletta divide, so here' mine http://www.food52.com/recipes...
Pan bagnat can be wrapped up and held for awhile but not a muffaletta. As long as the bread is good it shouldn't be dry. I did misspend too much time in New Orleans as a yout'...

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ChefJune
ChefJune March 6, 2011

Pierino; I also beg to differ. Pan Bagnat is not wrapped. It is made to order. Muffuletta is traditionally wrapped and pressed, although most NOLA restaurants no longer do that because their demand for the sandwich is too great. But the tradition IS for a wrapped, pressed sandwich.

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pierino
pierino March 7, 2011

Wrapped v. Unwrapped. The reason for wrapping pan bagnat is that it literally means "bathed bread". The inside is soaked with olive oil as well as oil from the tuna. At least that's the way I was taught.

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