Paula Wolfert’s Pissaladiere

Sometime last year I invested in a copy of Paula Wolfert’s Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking. We’ve been using her Cooking of South West France for years plus I have a slight fetish for ceramics. The clay pot book has lived by the side of the bed since I bought it because I’ve just been too busy to organise myself to use it.

Now we’re in France for three months writing the bread book and I’ve got time (and justification) for experimenting, the clay pot book is still by the side of the bed in Wales. There is a thread on the clay pot book at so I put up a message asking if anyone with the book could just give me the main points of the recipe. Practically straight away Paula herself posted the full recipe which I thought was extremely generous of her.

The recipe is at

I used my own pizza base (which is a sourdough version of a Carol Field recipe) substituting some of the water and all of the olive oil for the onion juices as Paula indicates.

Strong White Bread Flour    500g   100%

Water                                      240g   48%

Starter                                    140g   28%

Salt                                         7g        1.4%

Olive Oil                                  30g     6%

I used a 12” square baking sheet and guessed 400g dough was about right (pretty good guess I reckon).

I’m now the proud owner of an oven thermometer which, with this tin box oven here, is quite an amusing toy. Set the oven dial to 260C. After 40 minutes the thermometer was reading 210C and in went the pissaladiere. Most of the period the temperature varied between 150C and 160C. I gave it 25 minutes turning it once and then slid the whole thing off the baking sheet directly onto the oven rack for another five minutes. Came out light and crisp.

Munched half of it cold with drinkies. Half to go!

Thank you Paula.

Paula says that traditionally the crust should be half as thick as the topping. What do you reckon?

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