- starter for the dough:
- 1/4 cup all-purpose white flour
- 1/4 cup moderately warm water, about 110 degrees
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 package yeast
- the dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup beer at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) whole milk
- the topping:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion (3 to 4 ounces, peeled), finely chopped
- 1 cup crème fraîche, commercial or homemade (see note)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 pinches nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
- 3 ounces bacon, cut into matchsticks
- Mix the starter ingredients together in a small bowl, cover tightly, and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- When the starter is light and bubbly, mix the beer and milk into the mixture.
- Put the flour and salt into a food processor, then, with the motor running, add the yeast mixture through the feeding tube. Process the dough until it forms a ball. Add very small amounts of additional flour or milk if necessary.
- Process the ball until it is smooth, elastic, and warm, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
- Butter a medium-sized bowl, roll the ball around in the butter, then cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down and let rise a second time.
- While the dough is rising, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
- Combine the crème fraîche, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Add the cooled onion.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and fry the bacon until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Remove and drain through a strainer.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 deg C) (or as hot as it will go) If using a pizza stone, preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes.
- Lightly oil a 14 x 16 inch baking sheet. Roll and shape the dough until it is a rectangle slightly smaller than the baking sheet. Place it on the sheet.
- Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving a very small raised rim all the way around, then dot with the bacon.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tart is lightly browned. Serve very hot.
- Serves 4 to 8 as a first course, 2 to 4 as a main course.
- To make crème fraîche, combine 1 cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons buttermilk, stir, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, or until it has become very thick. It can then be refrigerated, where it will become even thicker.
- This recipe is essentially that of France: The Beautiful Cookbook, with the Preparation section greatly expanded in order to make it more easily understandable.