banner

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      4 hr

Appears in

The French Kitchen: A Cookbook

The French Kitchen

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2002

  • About

I love the strong flavours of this dish, which combines two of my personal addictions: anchovies and olives. Use the best olives you can find – in the south of France there are olive markets which sell hundreds of differently spiced varieties – and those fat brown anchovies preserved in salt rather than oil.

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 25 g butter
  • a bunch of thyme
  • 1.75 kg onions, very finely sliced (quickest done on a mandolin cutter)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 g dried yeast
  • 120 ml tepid water
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • 250 g strong flour
  • sea salt
  • 12 anchovies
  • black olives, pitted

    Method

    Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat. Strip the thyme leaves from the stalks and add about half to the pan. Add the onions – it is important that the onions are very finely sliced – and cook over a low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally: they should be soft and slightly caramelized but not brown. Season and leave to cool.

    Mix the yeast with the tepid water and sugar. Leave for 10 minutes in a warm place until the mixture becomes frothy.

    Put the flour and a little salt in a mixing bowl, add the yeast mixture and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, and mix until you have a dough ball. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes until the mixture is smooth and soft. Brush the inside of a bowl with a little olive oil, put the dough in and cover with a cloth. Leave in a warm place to prove until the dough has doubled in size, which takes about 1 hour.

    Brush a baking sheet with a little olive oil.

    Knock the air out of the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Roll the dough out to 30cm x 25cm, place on the baking sheet and brush the surface of the dough with a little more olive oil. Cover with the cooked onions. Slice each anchovy into four long ribbons and arrange on top of the onions in a lattice pattern. Place the olives between the criss-crossed anchovies and sprinkle with the remaining thyme. Leave somewhere warm to prove again for 30 minutes.

    Heat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.

    Bake the pissaladière for 20–25 minutes, and serve warm.