FLAVOUR OF FRANCE
Try this tasty snack from mother-and-daughter chefs Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini, who run The Cook’s Atelier cookery school and shop in Beaune, wine capital of Burgundy
The Cook’s Atelier shares its tasty recipe for easy-to-make pissaladières.
Makes four flatbreads; serves 8
Pissaladière is the equivalent of a French pizza, originating in the South of France. We make ours in our bread oven year-round using seasonal, fresh ingredients from the local market.
FOR THE DOUGH • 1 cups/360ml warm water (about
1/2 110°F/43°C) • 21/ tsp active dry yeast
4 • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil,
preferably French, plus more for the bowl • 4 cups/500g unbleached all-purpose
(plain) flour, plus more as needed • 2tsp fleur de sel • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper • 2tbsp fresh thyme leaves (optional)
FOR THE TOPPING • 1 lb/680g new potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 • 4 green (spring) onions, trimmed, green
part reserved for garnish • Extra-virgin olive oil, preferably French • 16 slices jambon cru (dry-cured ham) or
prosciutto • Leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, finely
chopped • Fleur de sel and freshly ground black
pepper • Handful of fresh chervil leaves, for garnish
Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast, and whisk to dissolve the yeast. Let the yeast proof for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the olive oil and stir to combine.
In a second large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and thyme, if using. Add this mixture to the proofed yeast and stir until smooth.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Turn the flour and yeast mixture on to a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper and your hands to bring the dough together. It will be a little sticky. Knead, adding flour, as needed, until the dough becomes mostly uniform and easier to handle, about five minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough in the oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm, dry place until doubled in size, two to three hours.
Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the potatoes. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and blanch until tender but still holding their shape, about eight minutes. Drain the potatoes, then place them on a clean kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
Cut the green (spring) onions crosswise into thin slices, reserving the green parts. In a medium sauté pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the whites of the green onions and sauté just until tender, about eight minutes. Set aside.
Make the pissaladières: Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into four equal pieces. Using your hands, gently shape each piece into a rough oval shape and place two on each parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the dough with olive oil. Arrange the potatoes, green onions and jambon cru on top of each piece of dough. Sprinkle with the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the onions are caramelised, 15 to 20 minutes.
Scatter the chervil and the reserved green onion greens on top and serve warm. Recipe taken from The Cook’s Atelier: Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from Our French Cooking School by Marjorie Taylor and Kendall Smith Franchini, published by Abrams, priced £35.