Play Me a Recipe

Onion & Olive Bread

July  9, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Molly Tavoletti
  • Prep time 5 hours 50 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes 1 (12-by-16-inch) pan pizza, and enough dough for 2 (900-gram) Sicilian pizzas or 3 (700-gram) grandma pizzas
Author Notes

I had incredible Italian Taggiasca olives in Kuwait (the chef I worked with was from Northern Italy, where the olives are sourced). Sicilians love their green Castelvetrano olives. I could go on. Here’s what to remember: Whichever olive you choose will be the main character of this pizza, but most any will work because they’re paired with the sweetness of onions. Both the onions and the olives sink into the dough, which will be light and fluffy in places and dense and chewy where the moisture of the olives and onions is trapped. This is a nostalgic pizza for me. It could become one for you.

Adapted slightly from Pizza Czar by Anthony Falco. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Evan Sung and Molly Tavoletti. Published by Abrams Books.

This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Anthony stretches, folds, and tops his way through this recipe, offering insider tips and backstory along the way.Anthony Falco

Test Kitchen Notes

If you don't have a sourdough starter, you can make a commercial yeast pre-ferment instead.

70 grams (5 tablespoons) water
0.5 gram (1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast
80 grams (1/2 cup) high-protein or bread flour

In a bowl put room temperature water and instant yeast, and mix together until dissolved. Add flour and mix vigorously until it completely comes together. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit at room temperature for 3 to 15 hours (it should double in size) before using it as a substitute for sourdough starter to make pizza dough. —Anthony Falco

What You'll Need
  • Sicilian grandma dough
  • 900 grams high-protein flour
  • 100 grams whole-grain flour, preferably freshly milled
  • 30 grams sea salt
  • 720 grams (3 cups) water, at 65°F (18°C)
  • 100 grams starter (3 to 5 hours after feeding it at room temperature), or see note about using pre-ferment
  • 60 grams extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the pans
  • Onion & olive bread
  • 45 grams green Castelvetrano olives, pitted and sliced (about 8 olives)
  • 44 grams Taggiasca olives, pitted and sliced (about 23 olives)
  • 45 grams red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/4 medium)
  • 12" round pan or 1 half sheet pan (900 grams) Sicilian Grandma Dough
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Large flake or coarse sea salt for garnish
  1. Sicilian grandma dough
  2. Weigh all the ingredients in separate containers. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and salt and mix thoroughly with clean hands.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, combine the water and starter.
  4. Create a crater in the flour and pour the liquids in the center.
  5. Begin mixing with your dominant hand. Start in the center of the bowl and mix in a clockwise fashion until the dough comes together, at this point add 60 grams of olive oil and continue to mix until the dough is fully incorporated. Stop mixing, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Perform a series of stretch and folds by stretching and folding the dough onto itself for about 6 minutes.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container with a lid (or a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap) and let it rest at room temperature. Stretch and fold the dough for 1 minute every 30 minutes for 3 hours (six times).
  8. Rest at room temperature (covered) for 30 minutes.
  9. Using about 40 grams of olive oil, lightly oil two or three baking pans.
  10. Lightly flour your hands, and using a dough cutter and scale, portion then shape the dough (three 700-gram or two 900-gram pieces) into rectangles by folding the edges into themselves.
  11. Transfer each dough to the center of a pre-oiled baking pan. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  12. Lift the dough and press out any air from the bottom of the pan. Carefully stretch the dough to the pan's edges. Using your fingertips, gently dimple the entire length of the dough. Place the onions and olives onto the dough and very gently press until they sink in the dough. Cover and let proof at room temperature for 6-12 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  1. Onion & olive bread
  2. Preheat the oven with pizza stones to 475°F (250°C).
  3. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the dough and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, if desired.
  4. Put the pan in the oven directly on the stone, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  5. Remove the pizza from the pan with an offset spatula and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

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