Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Pissaladière is niçoise street food, a pizza-like creation topped with caramelised onions, anchovies and black olives. I made it with a bread-dough base which I think is more common, but sometimes shortcrust pastry is used instead. The combination of salty anchovies and sweet onion is incredibly morish, and it's good hot or cold. Although it is tradionally street food, I like making it for a meal at home, maybe with some salad and cheese on the side.

For the dough:
300g bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
4 tbsp olive oil
Lukewarm water
For the topping:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
1 small jar anchovies in oil (you probably won't need it all)
approx 15 black olives, pitted

Start by caramelising the onions. Melt the butter over a low heat, and add the onions. Cook very slowly over the lowest possible heat until golden and melting, almost crushable with a wooden spoon. They should be an oniony mass, not separate slices.
Put the bread flour in a bowl with the salt and yeast. Stir in the olive oil and enough lukewarm water to make a soft dough (about 250ml). Form into a ball, put in a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Chop 4 of the anchovies with the thyme leaves, very finely. Mix with some of the olive oil to make a spreadable paste. Roll out the dough to a rectangle of about 5mm thickness, and put on an oiled baking sheet. Spread with the anchovy paste. Top with the onions, spreading evenly over the dough. Halve some of the anchovies lengthwise, and make a diamond criss-cross pattern with them on top of the onions. In the centre of the diamonds, place an olive (the decoration is not, of course, essential, you can just dot the olives and anchovies around as you like). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Eat warm or cool.

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