3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and baking pan
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 fresh bay leaf
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 anchovy fillets, halved lengthwise
2 ounces nicoise olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
Make the dough: In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and the sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add yeast, and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup water, the oil, salt, and flour. Stir until dough forms around spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a medium bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack in center.
Lightly oil a 13 by 18-inch rimmed baking sheet. Make the salt wash: In a small bowl, combine the water, oil, and salt; stir to dissolve salt. Roll dough into a 13 by 18-inch rectangle. Fit dough into pan, folding in excess to form a slightly raised edge. Prick all over with the tines of a fork. Brush salt wash evenly over dough. Set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising in the pan, make the filling: Tie the thyme, parsley, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine to make a bouquet garni. In a large straight-sided skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bouquet garni, and salt. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, and continue to cook, covered and stirring occasionally until very soft and translucent, about 25 minutes more. Transfer to a sieve to drain any excess liquid. Remove and discard bouquet garni.
Spread onion filling evenly over risen dough. Place anchovies decoratively over top of tart. Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate pan, and bake until crust is cooked through and golden, about 12 minutes more. Remove from oven, and using a spatula, transfer tart to a wire rack. Arrange olives decoratively on tart. Serve warm or room temperature.
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