Pissaladière Niçoise

By ChefJune
June 8, 2011
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Author Notes: This pizza is sold at stands throughout Nice all year round. It is a classic and is very easy to make. The secret is to caramelize the onions by cooking them slowly before spreading them on the crust.ChefJune

Makes: one 14-inch pizza
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 25 min

Rough Puff Pastry for Pizza

  • 3 1/2 cups organic unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut in 1/2-tablespoon pieces
  • ice water
  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rapidly work it into the flour with your fingertips until it has been uniformly broken into still-visible almond-sized slicks. (You can do this step in the Cuisinart, but be careful to pulse in very short bursts, as you don't want to over-process the dough. It should still have big slicks of butter showing.) Sprinkle about 1/2-cup ice water over the pastry and mix it in rapidly. Continue to add spoonfuls of water to the pastry and mix it in rapidly. Continue to add spoonfuls of water until the dough can be pulled together into a neat ball. Give one or 2 quick kneads (the butter needs to look unincorporated at this point), wrap the mass in foil and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a rectangle about 9 x 12 inches. Square the corners as much as possible, and sprinkle any sticking slicks of butter with a bit of flour. Fold the dough over into thirds. Turn the dough on the table so its length is perpendicular to you and roll again into a large rectangle. Fold into thirds. You have now given the pastry two turns. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the pastry out again and give it 2 more turns as in the previous step. Rewrap and let rest for 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. You can refine this pastry a bit by giving 2 more turns to the pastry, but 4 is enough for pizza. Roll the dough as thinly as possible (aim for 1/8-inch). Fold the pastry into quarters, or roll it on your rolling pin to transfer it to a flat pizza pan (or large baking tin) and cut a 14-or 15-inch round. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes before adding the toppings.
  5. It goes without saying that this pastry dough can be made several days ahead and stored, well wrapped, in your refrigerator. Note: This recipe makes enough rough puff pastry for 3 pizzas, so save the rest for later.

Pissaladière Topping

  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss Cheese (French Gruyère – called Comté, is most authentic)
  • 1 tin anchovies, well drained and patted dry
  • ripe olives (preferably whole tiny Niçoise, or Nyons, Gaeta or Kalamata, pitted and sliced)
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • dried oregano
  • additional olive oil for drizzling
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Over medium-low heat, warm the 4 tablespoons olive oil, then add onions and cook until very soft and translucent. Cool slightly. Arrange the onions all over the pissaladière. Sprinkle the Swiss cheese atop the onions. You may wish to use more than 1/2 cup. Make a design with anchovy fillets and olives. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, a sprinkling of dried oregano, and drizzle with additional olive oil.
  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
  4. Cut into squares and serve. It’s just as good at room temperature as it is hot, which makes it great "take-along" food.
  5. FWIW: DuFour's frozen puff pastry (all butter) works just fine if you've neither the time nor the inclination to make even the Rough Puff. ;)

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