Pissaladiere or Provençal Pizza, was invented in the southern French city of Nice. The dough typically used, is yeast based bread dough, the crust is a bit thicker than the crust of an Italian pizza and it is usually rectangle-shaped. The passadieres are topped with caramelized onions, anchovy fillets and of course niçose olives. Today they are served as an appetizer or a light lunch but traditionally the passaladieres were baked and sold in the morning in bakeries around Nice. In his recipe I use a simple pizza dough, which is easy to make, always crispy at the edges, cheesy in the center and freezes well, so you can always have some ready in the freezer.
Yields 2 pissaladieres
For the crust:
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 tsp dry yeast
1 1/2 tbs salt
2 Tbs canola oil
1 cup lukewarm water + 1 Tbs if needed
For the topping:
2 large Spanish onions, chopped
2 Tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
100-150g anchovy fillets
30 black olives, pitted
Make the dough: In a large bowl whisk together the flour yeast and salt. Add the water and oil and knead for about 5 minutes. Add one more tablespoon of flour if too sticky or a tablespoon of water if the dough doesn’t come together. You can also use an electrical mixer fitted with the hook attachment. At the point you have the choice to:
To use the same day, shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film and let it rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until doubled in volume. On a floured surface, press the air out of the dough, cut in two, roll into balls again and let them rise a second time, about 30 minutes.
Or, cut the dough in two separate ball, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To use, reshape them into neat balls and let them rise for about 1 hours at room temperature
Or, place the wrapped balls of dough in the freezer. Let the dough thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for about 4 hours, then roll into neat ball on a floured surface and let rise again for about 1 hour before using.
Make the toping: Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the onions with the salt and sugar on low heat stirring every couple of minutes until the onion starts browning slightly. Add the garlic, ground cloves and pepper and cook stirring constantly for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from the fire.
Assemble the passaladieres: Using a rolling pin, shape each ball of dough into a 1/3-inch tick rectangle. Use one large or two smaller baking sheets, depending on the size of your oven and bake for 3-4 minute until your pissalaiere bases have dried slightly but have not started browning yet, this will give you a crisper base. Remove from the oven and divide the caramelized onions between the two pizzas, spreading it evenly. Arrange the anchovy fillets and olives on top, creating diamond patterns.
Bake for about 13-17 minutes or until the edges are crusty and starting to brown.
Serve cut into squares on a wooden board, topped with fresh, lemon thyme.
Wine Suggestions: Chianti,Coteaux-d’Ex-en-provence red or Rosé.