Monday, June 20, 2011

Pissaladière

Pissaladière is, one might say, the pizza of Southern France. This is possibly where the "pissa" part of its stems from. It has no tomato sauce or cheese, however, and uses instead aromatics and deep flavours from sauteed onions and garlic, fresh thyme, anchovies and black Niçoise olive slices. - Paul, Yumarama

Pissaladière also embodies two of my very favourite elements - salt and bread. Jewish tradition brings salt and bread, (sometimes wine too), to a new home as a welcome - so that the inhabitants may always be nourished. I think this is a wonderful idea, who can imagine a world without salt and bread? Or wine for that matter?

The crust on this flatbread is super crunchy, and the whole thing is entirely addicting. The recipe makes two, but you can tell people that it made one - so they won't realize you ate the first one all by yourself. Same goes for the first bottle of wine.. ;-)

Pissaladière
adapted from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread
for the Mellow Bakers

The night before:

Paté fermentée
Bread flour - 3.7 oz
Water - 2.4 oz
Salt - ¼ tsp
Dry instant yeast - pinch

Mix all the pâté fermentée ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave out on the counter overnight (12-16 hours)

The next day:

Dough
Bread flour - 11.1 oz
Whole wheat flour - 3.7 oz
Water - 9.6 oz
Salt - 1 tsp
Instant dry yeast - ¾ tsp
Extra-virgin olive oil - 2 Tbsp
Pâté fermentée - all

Add all the dough ingredients to your stand mixer bowl, except for the olive oil and the pâté fermentée. Mix on low for 3 minutes with your dough hook. Start adding in the Pâté fermentée in chunks. Turn to second speed and drizzle in the olive oil. Mix for another 5 minutes on second until well incorporated.
Let rest, covered, for one hour. Fold dough in onto itself and let rest another hour, covered.

Make the toppings:
3 medium purple onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or more to taste
2 tins anchovies
2 big handfuls niçoise olives, or kalamata, pitted

Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, seasoning to taste with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
Let cool and add in thyme leaves to taste.
(optionally, season the onions with Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar)
Slice the anchovies in half, lengthwise.

Back to the dough: 
After the 2 hours of rising are over, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and set out on a lightly floured surface for rolling out. Cover with a cloth to let them rest 10 minutes before stretching/rolling them out, so that they don't snap back to their original shape.
Roll each crust (or press out) to about ¼-½ an inch. About 12x16.
Transfer crusts to a pizza peel that has been liberally sprinkled with coarse cornmeal or semolina. Or, parchment paper.
Preheat your oven, with a pizza/bread stone on the middle rack, to 500°F.
For each flatbread: spread out half the onion mixture evenly, to within one inch of the edge. Make a criss-cross pattern with the anchovy halves and place an olive in the middle of each square. Beautiful!
Let rise, uncovered, for 20 minutes while your oven gets nice and hot.
Bake directly on the stone for about 17 minutes or until nicely browned on the crust and crunchy.
Let cool somewhat and eat! Also good cold. And room temperature. And in the middle of the night. And for breakfast..

This bread has been Yeastspotted!

MellowBakers.com