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Author Notes: Pierino is resolute when it comes to New Year's resolutions. One of ours for 2009, after a grim 2008, was to get our hands back into dough (in all senses). We've always been good at fresh pasta but bread doughs are the Devil's playground so we approached it heavily armed with a KitchenAid stand mixer, a copy of THE BREAD BAKER'S APPRENTICE and other tools of ignorance. Pizza dough is easy, and we've discovered that it freezes well (maybe improves) so this is what 2009 looked like. —pierino
- 20 ounces high gluten flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ounce olive oil, or maybe a shot glass full
- 1 1/2 cups water
The good and nasty stuff
- 2 Sweet onions, very thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 8 (at least) good quality anchovies in particular Spanish boquerones
- 10-15 Niçoises olives (unpitted preferred)
- Fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt and pepper as needed
- Prepare your dough beginning with the paddle and finishing with the hook.
- Set up your kneading surface with bench flour. Knead until, well you'll know when. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow to rest for at least 1 hour. Better still, refrigerate it overnight. You might want to divide and freeze one half. At this point you can wimp out and use store bought pizza dough (frozen or otherwise) and I won't complain.
- Heat up some olive oil (about 2 tbs) and when it begins to shimmer add the sliced onions. Over low heat saute these for about 40 minutes, stirring as frequently as your attention span allows. Let them sweat down all of their Vidalia goodness.
- Right about now you should heat up you oven to 450 to 475.
- Roll out as much dough as you intend to use. Place it in a half sheet pan and extend with your fingers to the edges. Dimple the interior and then add the filling, olives, bay leaf, leaves from your thyme, and anchovies crisscrossed (see note to cook).
- Prepare to bake. If your oven is hot, brush the outer rim of the crust (lightly) with olive oil. Go with God for maybe 20 minutes. The rim should be nice and golden.
- Notes to cooks: I love white anchovies (boquerones) they are pickled in vinegar but good oil jarred anchovies are great as are the salt packed variety. The people you know who hate anchovies have only tasted, God forbid, the "pizza" variety. This will change their minds. If you are using white anchovies it is permissable to arrange those after the Pissaldière comes out of the oven. Possibly better if the don't actually cook.
- Another note to the cook; again this dough freezes well. And you can incorporate a starter into it as long as the proportions remain intact. Bread really is brain science. Wish I had one.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best New Year's Resolution Dish