Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield:


    crusts at 1 lb each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

We are Now in the South of France, and will stay there for this and the two following recipes. Pissaladière is the pizza of Provence, replete with onions cooked long and slow, fresh herbs, anchovies, and pungent black niçoise olives. The present formula is made with a portion of whole-wheat flour, which gives a bit more body to the crust; and with a pâte fermentée for added flavor and crust quality. A well-ripened French bread dough, with some extra-virgin olive oil beaten in (about .5 ounces of oil per 1 pound of dough), can be used as a substitute for the dough detailed here.


Overall Formula

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 4.64 lb 2.1 kg 14.8 oz 80%
Whole-Wheat Flour 1.16 lb .523 kg 3.7 oz 20%
Water 3.77 lb 1.7 kg 12 oz 65%
Salt .1 lb .047 kg .3 oz 1.8 %
Yeast .09 lb, fresh .039 kg, fresh .09 oz, instant dry ( tsp) 1.5 %
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil .29 lb .131 kg .9 oz 5%
Total Yield 10.05 lb 4.54 kg 1 lb, 15.8 oz 173.3 %

Pâte Fermentée

Bread Flour 1.16 lb .52 kg 3.7 oz ( cup) 100%
Water .75 lb .34 kg 2.4 oz (¼ cup) 65%
Salt .02 lb .01 kg .07 oz (¼ tsp) 2%
Yeast .002 lb, fresh .001 kg, fresh .001 oz, instant dry (a small pinch) .2%
Total 1.932 lb .871 kg 6.2 oz

Final Dough

Bread Flour 3.48 lb 1.58 kg 11.1 oz ( cups)
Whole-Wheat Flour 1.16 lb .523 kg 3.7 oz ( cup)
Water 3.02 lb 1.36 kg 9.6 oz ( cups)
Salt .08 lb .037 kg .2 oz (1 tsp)
Yeast .088 lb, fresh .038 kg, fresh .09 oz, instant dry (scant tsp)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil .29 lb .131 kg .9 oz (2 T)
Pâte Fermentée 1.932 lb .871 kg 6.2 oz (all of above)
Total 10.05 lb 4.54 kg 1 lb, 15.8 oz


3 Medium Onions, Thinly Sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme, minced, or more to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Ounces Good-Quality Anchovies
3 Ounces NiçOise Olives, Pitted


  1. Preparing the Topping: Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are very soft and have begun to brown. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside to cool. Slice the anchovies in half lengthwise (if using salt-cured anchovies, rinse them well and remove the backbone with your thumb). Refrigerate the topping ingredients until ready to use.
  2. Pâte Fermentée: Disperse the yeast in the water, add the flour and salt, and mix until just smooth. The pâte fermentée will have the consistency of finished bread dough. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at about 70°F. When ripe, the pâte fermentée will be domed and just beginning to recede in the center.
  3. Mixing: Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl except the pâte fermentée and the olive oil. For production of 20 crusts or fewer, a small spiral mixer or 20-quart planetary mixer works well. In a planetary-type mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients. As the dough is coming together, add the pâte fermentée in chunks. If necessary, correct the hydration by adding water or flour in small amounts. The dough should be of medium consistency at this point. Turn the mixer to second speed and begin drizzling in the olive oil. Mix on second speed for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough has moderate gluten development. Desired dough temperature: 75°F.
  4. Bulk Fermentation: 2 hours.
  5. Folding: Fold the dough once, after 1 hour of bulk fermentation.
  6. Dividing and Shaping: Divide the dough into 1-pound pieces. Round lightly, place on a floured work surface, seams down, and cover with plastic. Let the dough relax for about 20 minutes. Begin to either stretch the dough by hand, or use a rolling pin to flatten and stretch it. During the stretching, you may want to let the dough relax for a couple of minutes and then return to it. Pissaladière is usually shaped into a rectangle. With a 1-pound dough piece, roll the dough out about ¼ inch thick, with dimensions of about 12 by 16 inches. Transfer the dough to a baker’s peel that has been sprinkled with coarse cornmeal or semolina.
  7. Add the Topping: Spread the onion mixture evenly onto the dough, leaving a rim of about 1 inch wide around the entire perimeter of the dough. Place the anchovies in a lattice pattern on top of the onions. Then place 1 olive in each of the sections formed by the anchovies.
  8. Final Fermentation: After the toppings have been added, let the dough rise for about 20 minutes.
  9. Baking: Bake the pissaladière at the hottest setting of your oven, at least 500°F. In the home oven, bake on a thoroughly preheated baking stone. In any event, avoid baking on a sheet pan: The goal is instant strong heat for the dough, and the buffer of a sheet pan delays the heating of the dough significantly, resulting in a serious loss of eating quality.