Commonly mistaken for a French pizza, Pissaladière is actually a flatbread made in southern France aswell as in the Italian region of Liguria (where it’s known as Piscialandrea). The dough is usually a bread dough thicker than that of the classic Italian pizza, and the traditional topping consists of caramelised onions, olives and anchovies (either whole or in the form of pissalat, a type of anchovy paste*).
For the dough
1 tsp salt
1/2 packet dried yeast
150ml warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
For the topping
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1kg onions, thinly sliced
a few sprigs of thyme
2 x 80g can anchovy fillets
15 – 20 black olives
Put the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl, yeast in the middle, salt round the edges (this gives the yeast some time to activate). Pour in the water and oil, and mix to a soft dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave it to rise for about 45 minutes.
While the dough is rising, heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or sauté pan, put the onions and the thyme in, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for 45 minutes until the onions are really soft and golden brown. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Lightly oil a shallow baking tin or tray (about 20x30cm in size). Roll out the dough and gently tuck it into the tin. Spread the onions over the dough, then arrange the anchovies on top, making a criss-cross pattern. Stud each window between the anchovies with one or two olives, then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve warm, cold or reheated, cut into squares.