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Before it was placed in the oven. There isn't an after picture as we ate it too fast!

I am feeling blog guilt! Recently I’ve been down to Norwich, then had friends up to visit and a trip to Edinburgh, and finally went for a holiday to Prague. This means obviously that I have not had a lot of time to post any blogs, or really do much proper cooking! I did however, before all this running about and holidaying get around to making Pissaladiere and I’m glad I did, because it was a very good dish, which I intend to make more of in the future.

Two changes that I would make in future: first I would marinate the anchovies in milk for 30 minutes to mellow them out and rinse off some more of the saltiness. And secondly I would use the cheap tinned olives rather than marinated ones, as again it does not need the strength of the marinated ones. I also probably make a bit of a faux pas and added a tablespoon of parmesan near the end of cooking, and while some recipes do call for a bit of cheese, I think this might be one of the few ‘pizza’s’ that doesn’t actually need it because it’s already quite rich and tasty.

Recipe:

I looked at quite a few different recipes online and finally decided to adapt a recipe from Delia’s Pissaladiere which I think is the most straightforward of recipes.

For the Dough

8oz/225g Strong White Bread Flour

1 level teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of light muscovado
sugar

1 teaspoon of dried yeast

2 tablespoons of flat-leaf
parsley (finely minced)

Black pepper

150ml of water

For the Filling

4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin
Olive Oil

1lb 10oz/750g of Organic Onions

2 fat cloves of garlic (flattened
and then finely sliced)

Salt and Pepper

For the Topping

2oz/50g of anchovies fillets in
oil (don’t forget to marinate them in milk or rinse them before using –
something which I forgot to do!)

A dozen black olives (You’re
supposed to keep them whole but I pitted them and finely sliced them)

1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese

Method:

I made the dough first which is pretty simple, the kneading is quite therapeutic. First get the 150ml of blood-hot water (that was always the expression my mum used anyway) and whisk in the sugar and yeast. I left this for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile mix the rest of the ingredients: the flour, salt, pepper and parsley. Then make a well and pour the yeast-sugar-water mixture along with 25mls more of blood-hot water to the flour mixture. Bring the mixture all together and then knead for ten minutes or fifteen minutes. I never normally time this – you normally know when the dough is ready when it becomes more stretchy and smooth.

When this is finished, I pushed the dough out with my fingers onto a lightly oiled tin. I’m not sure whether it was because of the flour I was using but the texture seemed pretty perfect at this point. Then brush the dough with some more oil, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for twenty/thirty minutes in a hot place – I think I put it on top of the washing machine!

Preheat the oven to about 220c

While you’re waiting cook the onions into gooey deliciousness. In other words, pour the four tablespoons of oil into a wide-deep pan and when hot add the onions and garlic. Cook on a low heat for about thirty minutes until its cooked down and smells and looks gorgeous. Add some salt and pepper.

Finally spread the onion and garlic mixture onto the dough. Add the anchovies in a pretty diamond shaped pattern, and sprinkle the olives on top – and then if you want add some parmesan. Cook for about 20-30 minutes in the oven. As my oven is rather rubbish it needed more time. We served this with salad – twas yum.

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