Pissaladière

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Today I’m going to write about a very good “kind of” French pizza, the Pissaladière 🙂 if you say pizza you usually don’t think to France, but they have this traditional recipe which is very interesting. More precisely is a traditional recipe of Nice area (so Southern France, bordering Italy), which indeed in the past was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and in the neighboring Italian Liguria region there is a typical focaccia called Piscialandrea which is similar but made with tomato rather than onions.

The Pissaladière is a very tasty focaccia made with caramelized onions slowly stewed for long time, olives (Cailletier or Taggiasche types, typical of that area) and anchovies or anchovy paste. But traditionally the main ingredient was not fresh anchovies/anchovy paste but a traditional sauce/condiment called “Pissalat” (“peis salat” in the local dialect, meaning salted fish) which was made with juvenile anchovies that still have a sac containing the remainder of the yolk (they are also called alevins), kept in brine with spices, but nowadays fishing those juvenile anchovies is very restricted so finding this traditional sauce it’s almost impossible also in the area of origin of this recipe. As you can easily notice, the Pissalat gave the name to this recipe.

It’s possible to find the Pissaladière made with pâte brisée or puff pastry, but the traditional recipes are made with “pâte à pain”, a bread dough, and the thickness is the same of a focaccia, not too thin and not too high. It’s a perfect idea for an appetizer, a buffet or a picnic 🙂

 

INGREDIENTS (for a 24 cm oven pan):

For the dough:

  • 250 g flour
  • 150 ml water (at room temperature, and not a hard water, I used a bottled water)
  • 4 g fresh baker’s yeast
  • 5 g salt
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • herbs (Herbs the Provence, thyme, oregano, marjoram)

For the filling:

  • 5-6 onions, white or golden
  • herbs (Herbs the Provence, thyme, oregano, marjoram)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a spoon of sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • olives, Cailletier/Taggiasche type
  • 50 g of anchovy paste (I used about half tube of 100 g)
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. First start preparing the dough: sift the flour, reduce the fresh yeast in powder with your hands, and add it to the flour with also some little herbs. Add the water and start mixing with a machine. When the dough start to have a shape add the extra virgin olive oil and for last the salt. Work it for some minutes, until homogeneous and elastic, but still quite soft. Take a bowl, put some oil on the bottom and place the dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it rest until it doubles its size, it will take about 1 and half/2 hours, I placed it in the oven with the light switched on.
  2. Now cut the onion with a mandoline slicer and start cooking them at low heat in a cocotte, with some extra virgin olive oil. Add also the sugar, the bay leaf and the cloves of garlic. After the first 30 minutes add also the herbs and the black pepper, cook them until very soft and caramelized, it will take at least one hour but also something more. You have to keep stirring regularly, they must not burn on the bottom.
  3. When the onion are ready switch off the heat, remove the garlic and add the anchovy paste that you have mixed with some olive oil to make it even softer. Mix it well to the onions.
  4. When the dough has doubled its size take a low oven pan, spread some extra virgin olive oil on the bottom, then flatten the dough on your working table and put it in the oven pan. The dough should be easy to flatten, and after you pull it it shouldn’t get shorter.
  5. Pour the onions over the dough and add the olives on the top, I also added some anchovy fillets to garnish.pissaladiere_4
  6. Let it rest for other 30 minutes (the dough will rise still a bit thanks to the heat of the onions) and then bake it at 220 °C, static oven, for about 25 minutes or a bit more depending on your oven.
  7. You can enjoy it either warm or when cooled down, I prefer it warm 🙂 the dough should be soft at the bite, and I was surprised to realize that it was not making me thirsty in spite of the fact it contains a good amount of anchovy/anchovy paste, probably the answer is in the pairing with the long stewed onions. I really liked it.

PS: of course if you have it you can use fresh anchovies and also sardines/pilchards.

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Products used in this recipe:

Flour: 130 g of “Farina Buratto Bio”, Tipo 2, from Mulino Marino (strength W290) and 120 g of a normal Bio wheat flour.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks so delicious. I love this version made with a bread dough. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paola says:

    Squisita! Grazie di avermela ricordata

    Liked by 1 person

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