The Pissaladiere Recipe is a French version of the Italian pizza derives its name from pissala, a paste made from anchovies.
13 x 9in (32.5 x 23cm) jelly roll pan
For the base:
1 1⁄4 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
For the topping:
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2lb (900g) onions, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves
sprig of thyme
1 tsp herbes de Provence (dry mix of thyme, basil,rosemary, and oregano)
1 bay leaf
31⁄2oz (140g) jar anchovies in oil
12 black pitted niçoise olives, or Italian olives
1 For the base, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in a large bowl.
2 Pour 2⁄3 cup lukewarm water into a separate bowl, and use a fork to whisk in the sugar, then the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes to froth, then pour into the flour with the olive oil.
3 Mix to form a dough, adding another 2 tablespoons lukewarm water if the mixture looks too dry.
4 Turn the dough out onto a floured board, and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball, return to a cleaned, oiled bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel. Leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
5 For the topping, put the oil in a saucepan over very low heat. Add the onions, garlic, herbs, and bay leaf.
6 Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the onions look like a stringy purée. Be careful not to let the onions catch; if they begin to stick, add a little water. Drain well, season with salt, and set aside, discarding the bay leaf.
7 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Knead the dough briefly on a floured surface. Roll it out so it is thin and large enough to fit the jelly roll pan. Prick all over with a fork.
8 Spread the onions over the base. Drain the anchovies, reserving 3 tablespoons oil, and slice the fillets in half lengthwise.
9 Embed the olives in rows in the dough, and drape the anchovies in a criss-cross pattern on top of the onions. Drizzle with the reserved anchovy oil, and sprinkle with pepper.
10 Bake for 35 minutes, or until the crust is brown. The onions should not brown or dry out. Remove and serve warm, cut into rectangles, squares, or wedges, or allow to cool before serving.
All the elements of pissaladière are very simple, so it is imperative that you use the best-quality ingredients for the finest result. Take special care when selecting anchovies, and make sure they are packed in goodquality oil. When you can find them, smoked anchovies make an amazing substitution.