Pissaladiere (Provencal Pizza)

Pissaladière is a Proveçal street food – a thin-crusted pizza topped with caramelized onions, olives, and anchovies. I just invested in a large food processor and I made this dough in the processor with a dough blade. It is such an easy way to made home-made pizza dough. This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated and I love the dough – it’s thin but not a traditional, cracker like thin-crust. Instead it is a nice medium, with the chewy bubbly interior of regular pizza dough and then becomes thinner in the center, with a crispy crust. The sweet onions and salty anchovies are the perfect mix.  Although there are several steps in this recipe, it is actually very easy. Because the dough must rise it is a bit longer, time wise, than most recipes I post – but it’s so worth it!

This recipe makes enough dough for 2 Pissaladières. I made one Pissaladière and then I used the second crust for a pizza topped with pizza sauce, sundried tomatoes, prosciutto, and mozzarella. If you want to do the same, half the Pissaladière topping ingredients and create your favorite pizza with the second crust. Two pizzas/tarts was enough for 4 to have 2 large quarters. You could make this as a meal or as an appetizer/party food, in which case you could serve about 8.

Equipment: food processor with dough blade; pizza stone or baking sheet.

Dough (2 crusts)

  • 2 cups (11 ounces) bread flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast (pkged as “rapid” or “quick” rise)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for working with the dough
  • 1 cup warm water

Caramelized onions

  • Olive oil
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, sliced
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. water

Toppings

  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Minced fresh thyme
  • ½ cup nicoise or kalamata olives, pitted & chopped coarse
  • 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry & chopped coarse

Make the dough

  1. In the workbowl of a food processor with a plastic dough blade attached, pulse flour, yeast, and salt to combine. With machine running, slowly add the oil, then the water, through the feed tube; continue to process until the dough forms a ball, about 15 seconds.
  2. Generously dust your work surface with flour; using floured hands transfer the dough to your work surface and knead lightly, shaping dough into ball. Lightly oil a small bowl or measuring cup and place dough inside, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until dough is doubled in volume, about 1 and ½ hours

Caramelize the onions

  1. While your dough is rising, heat a dash or two of olive oil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in the onions, salt, and brown sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until onions are softened and golden brown, about another 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the water; transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Adjust your oven rack to the lowest position and set baking stone on rack, heat oven to 500 degrees.

Form your pizza

  1. When dough has doubled, remove and divide into 2 equal portions. Using olive oil on your hands pull edges of the dough out and then pull edges together, pinching to seal like a basket. Then roll dough into a taught ball.  Repeat with second piece of dough. Brush each ball with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes. Cut two 20-inch pieces of parchment paper.
  2. With oiled hands, and holding dough up in the air, stretch out to 12 inches in length. Place on the parchment paper and gently dimple surface with your fingertips. Push dough flat into a 14 by 8-inch oval. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with ground pepper.
  3. Leaving a ½ inch border sprinkle with half of the ingredients. Slip parchment paper onto a pizza peel & slide onto stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone you can bake the pizza (with parchment) on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the first bakes, shape and top the second.
  5. Remove tart from oven with peel, pulling parchment onto the peel. Transfer to a cutting board and pull out parchment paper. Cool 5 minutes & serve. While the first cools, bake the second.

Serves: 4 as main dish; 8 as appetizer

Recipe Source: Cook’s Illustrated

Time: ~2 hours total

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