Pissaladiere Provençale, a savory pie, is in my mind a
close cousin to the pizza. It is rated as one of the best.
which got its name from pissala, a fish paste made from anchovies, is typically
served as a French hors d'oeuvre.
Serves: about 12
package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1 3/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons additional flour for kneading
2 pounds (about 5) large yellow onions, peeled, and very thinly
sliced to yield 8 cups
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup water
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
about 2 dozen flat anchovy
fillets, oil drained
3 dozen nicoise olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Electric mixer method:
large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over water with the sugar. Let proof and
soften for about 5 minutes. With paddle attachment, add oil, and stir to blend.
Add 1 cup flour and stir until smooth. With dough hook attachment, add
remaining 3/4 cup flour and salt and knead until silky smooth and elastic,
about 5 minutes.
Food processor method:
Place flour and salt in food
processor bowl; process briefly just to blend. Combine oil and yeast mixture,
pour down feed tube and process just until mixture is a lumpy mass. Place the
mixture on a lightly floured work surface and knead sticky dough for about 5
minutes until satiny and smooth. Knead in no more than three tablespoons
Place dough in large bowl, cover and let rise in a
warm place away from drafts until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
dough is rising, prepare the filling.
Heat the oil and butter in a large
skillet and over medium-low heat saute the onions, garlic and salt until soft
and transparent, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally to prevent
onions from browning or scorching. Add the water and thyme, and over high heat
cook until the water evaporates. Over low heat, continue sauteing about 20
minutes longer, until onion mixture is very soft and translucent. Transfer to a
sieve to drain any excess liquid. (yield at this time is 3 cups). Remove sprig
of thyme. Set aside to cool.
Adjust the rack in the lower third of the oven
and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the bottom
of a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan or a 12-inch pizza pan.
Punch dough down. With
fingertips, press and stretch the dough to fit the pan. If the dough becomes
elastic, rest a couple of minutes, then press again. Cover dough loosely with
plastic wrap and let rest about 30 minutes or until puffy.
filling evenly over risen dough. Place anchovies decoratively over top of tart.
Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate pan, and bake until crust is cooked through and
golden, about 12 minutes more.
Remove from oven, and using a spatula,
transfer tart to a wire rack. Arrange olives decoratively on tart.
warm or room temperature. Cut rectangles, squares or wedges while warm or at
For an extra crisp crust, spread filling over dough, and
rather than allow time for the dough to rise and become puffy, bake it right
For a more bread-like crust, let dough rise in baking pan until
puffy, then spread filling on top and bake.
Note: If anchovy fillets taste
too salty, rinse them in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.