On August 1st I was excited when my pre-ordered copy of the latest Great British Bake Off book arrived in the post. As soon as a new recipe book like this arrives I’m like a child in a sweetie shop. Mind you I’m like that in a sweetie shop as well but that’s another story!
I couldn’t bake something from the book straightaway as we were due off on holiday to Spain for a week. It’s funny how baking doesn’t even enter your head when you are away on holiday. I even packed the book in my hand luggage and looked at it on the plane much to the embarrassment of my hubby and kids but once we got there I forgot about it!
One thing I did remember though was that I’d left a load of onions in the fridge while we were away and I had all the ingredients to make Pissaladiere when we got back.
Pissaladiere according to the recipe introduction notes is: “a yeasted dough base (from Provence) flavoured with thyme and olive oil covered with a rich mix of onions, anchovies and olives (and sometimes slices of tomato).” It is also ideal to be eaten “cut into large squares for lunch or into fingers for a starter or to serve with drinks”
I was keen to make my own Pissaladiere after tasting a delicious one as a starter in the Cote D’Azur town of Vence about 7 years ago. My hubby and I went there for three days on our own and toured the area including Cannes, Nice and Monaco. We had some delicious meals including one in a restaurant in the square in Vence. I had a Pissaladiere for a starter but I am sure it wasn’t a dough base more like puff pastry. I remember it being more like a tart. I had to take the anchovies off as I don’t like them but the rest was utterly sublime.
Here is how I made the Great British Bake Off version (minus anchovies!!)
The onions then had to be cooked slowly in a flameproof casserole which had olive oil in it. The lid was kept on and the onions were cooked gently. Had I been adding anchovies I would have added them here! After the onions had cooked, up went the heat and I added some thyme. It was meant to be fresh thyme but I didn’t have any so I had to use dried.
While the onions were cooking I made up the dough base. This was made in a similar way to a regular pizza base. I found the kneading very relaxing and therapeautic!
I kept checking on the dough every now and again though it was frustrating. My hubby and kids came into the kitchen saying they were hungry. I really wish I had got more organised and made the dough earlier but I had been out shopping for the week and was catching up after our holiday!
The dough came out a lot thicker than I expected and next time I will roll the dough out a lot thinner! It was well worth the wait. My kids aren’t huge onion tart eaters but they liked this and my hubby loved it. A square with a large salad and vinaigrette was absolutely gorgeous washed down with a glass of chilled French rose!
Happy Baking or should I say “Bon Appetit?”
Love Sam xx