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…
Oh Joanna, it’s perfect and you are thinking like me. I was even surfing Eataly’s website for anchovies this morning It’s spring and I want to be in the south of France, Italy, somewhere with red wine and beautiful food, preferably under a grape arbor on a patio. As lovely and safe as my little town is I want to be AWAY.
Hi Emily thanks for visiting, sadly maybe I don’t go abroad these days, haven’t been for years and years on account of my dogs. So it is a very long time indeed since I was in the South of France or Italy or anywhere so I just have to imagine! xxx
Hello Joanna, it is nice to see you blogging again, like meeting up with a friend after not seeing each other for years! I have not made a pissaladiere myself but it looks very tasty and I’m sure was enjoyed by all. I do have the book and will look up the recipe out of interest but don’t think I will be making it as I am now on my own having lost my dear husband a few years ago. I do still make bread though as I can always freeze what I can’t manage to eat on the day of baking. Glad to see Zeb is still around helping you in the kitchen!
Hello Jeannette, it’s like meeting up with a friend, what a lovely thing to read. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband and I can only imagine how you must feel. I don’t think I am returning to blogging with any regularity, it was just because this was from the ‘Bread’ book that I baked so many recipes from that I thought I would add some pics and keep a record here. much love xx Jo
A great way to dream to France. I just baked a rye bread of Danmark, because the border is still closed.
I think breads are a nice way to ‘travel’ in the kitchen. What do you think is the main difference between a Danish and a German rye? x Joanna
Your dough looks amazing- I have been playing with toasting and sourdough breads lately- although we have moved to a smallflat in Western New York and my oven and kitchen are small and crowded. Love seeing your baking is still going strong- and I loved seeing your dad’s cake. Keep well my friend.
Hi Heidiannie! Lovely to know that people still find me when I put the odd post up here. I hope your new home is a happy place, and as long as there is room to just make a little bread now and then I am sure it will be.
Hope you are keeping well too. love Jo
Hi Joanna, so lovely to see you writing about baking again. I remember fondly the bakers posts. I haven’t looked in for a couple of years while I completed a very exacting degree, lovely to know Zeb is still with you.
Thank you so much for introducing me to the delights of baking with rye; creating a long-standing love affair.
Hi Elaine, I haven’t really been keeping up with this at all for years and only put the odd thing on here from time to time. Lovely to hear you still enjoy the rye baking, and congratulations on getting your degree!
all best, Joanna
How nice to find a post from you again in my mailbox! I have to admit that I didn’t do much blogging lately, either. There‘s too much news to watch to get upset about…
I never made Pissaladière, though I have recipe in an old French/German cookbook. Yours look very tempting (and like a piece of art!).