If you have time on your hands and you like anchovies, olives and the rich flavour of sautéed onions and like making dough and pizza you should try making a pissaladière once in your life.
I confess I have never eaten it, so I hope the ones I made today are more or less what you might get in a corner of Nice or Menton in the South of France. I closed my eyes and pretended for a moment anyway. The formula and method I followed was from Bread by Jeffrey Hamelman, it’s in the revised edition on page 348. I can’t remember now if it was in the first book but I know I didn’t make it when I was baking through the Mellow Bakers online group all those years ago. Any recipe in that book is sort of unfinished business for me and there are a few more that I might find time to have a go at now.
This one uses a piece of dough from an earlier bake that you mix into the new dough. This is called a paté fermentée. There are lots of recipes that incorporate paté fermentée, it’s certainly worth experimenting with to see if you like the results and it means you only need a fraction of the yeast that a recipe might ask you to use. Here is what the pf looks like after a night in the fridge, domed and getting quite soft.
While the final dough is fermenting, you can cook up the onions and slice the anchovies and drain the olives and if you have a pot of thyme or a patch somewhere growing then you can pick the tiny leaves off a handful to add in to the onions when they are cooked.
I had a beautiful jar of Sicilian anchovies which were a gift from a dear friend and wanted to show them off so they could be the star of a dish so this is where they ended up! I had already used one or two in a roast lamb dish together with some medlar jelly at the weekend.
I looked up the origins of the name and it seems that it is of course originally an Italian pizza called Pizza d’Andrea from Genoa. But I’m sure anyone from Italy will know better than me the origins of this dish and I won’t pretend that I do!
And here are some photos. It does need a very hot oven like any pizza and ideally cooked direct on a baking stone rather than a tray. My oven goes up to 275 C so that’s what we baked at. They took 7 minutes to cook. It was pretty tricky getting them in and out of the oven as they were a bit too long for the super peel and only just fitted on my old baking stone. It was a four hands job and a bit of improvised handling but we got there!
And it was delicious! One of the best crusts I have made, airy, crisp where you want it crisp, soft where you want it soft, a perfect foil to the strong flavours of the onions, anchovies and olives.
I think it is a make again recipe!
there is only a half of one left…