Pissaladière with olives and anchovies

Preparation time
1-2 hours

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


For the dough

  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5g instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
  • 125ml/4fl oz warm water

For the topping

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 1.25kg/2 lb 12 oz onions, thinly sliced
  • few thyme leaves (optional)
  • 2 100g/4oz jars anchovies
  • 1 small jar black pitted olives, drained


  1. For the dough, put the flour in a bowl and stir in the salt. Add the yeast. Mix the honey with the oil and water, then pour this over the flour.

  2. Mix until you have a sticky dough, then turn out the dough and knead until soft and passes the windowpane test (stretch a small piece out until you can see through it – gluten is developed enough if it allows you do this). Return to the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave to double in size – at least an hour.

  3. Meanwhile make the topping. Heat the olive oil and butter in a very large frying pan. When the butter has melted and is foaming, add the onions and thyme leaves (if using). Season with salt. Stir carefully until they reduce in volume – there will seem almost too much for the pan to start with, but they will collapse quite quickly. Continue to cook on a low to medium heat for at least 45 minutes to an hour, stirring regularly. The onions will lightly caramelise on the base – scrape this up regularly when you stir.

  4. Eventually you will have very soft, almost puréed, golden brown onions. You can instead cover the pan and let the onions sweat for a similar amount of time – they will collapse in a similar way but be lighter in colour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8.

  6. Knock the dough back and shape to fill a large baking tray – around 40x20cm/16x8in. Spread the onions over the dough, leaving a narrow border, then add the anchovies in a lattice pattern – or more free-form if you prefer (I often do a small amount without as there’s always someone who doesn’t like anchovies!). Add the olives at intervals. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, if you like. Bake in the preheated oven for around 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through.

  7. Cool, cut into slices and serve.

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