Quattrostagione Pizza

Quattrostagione Pizza (kwa-troh-sta-jay-ohncy pect-zah) is one of the most delicious of pizzas. It takes a fair amount of preparation, but the effort will be rewarded when you bask in the admiration of your guests! Each individual pizza is divided into quarters, with four different toppings each. The toppings can be varied, depending on the state of your pantry and pocket – this is a fairly elaborate version.

5 oz. fresh yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

12 fl. oz. plus

3 teaspoons lukewarm water

12 lb. flour

½ teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

1 lb. tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoon dried basil

6 anchovy fillets, cut into strips

24 black olives, halved and stoned

6 slices prosciutto, halved

6 oz. canned artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, sliced

6 oz. shrimps, shelled

6 oz. canned asparagus tips, drained and chopped

4- teaspoon salt

3 teaspoon black pepper

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced, and cooked for

3 minutes in

1 oz. butter

6 oz. pepperoni sausage, cut into f-inch lengths

½ teaspoon paprika

First prepare the pizza dough. Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the sugar. Add the 3 teaspoons of lukewarm water and cream the water and yeast together. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour and salt into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast and the remaining water. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour into the liquids. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for about 10 minutes, reflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be clastic and smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth. Set the bowl in a warm, draught-free place and leave it for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the dough has risen and almost doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230°C). Using half the oil, grease three large baking sheets and set aside.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 7 pieces.

Set one piece aside. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each of the remaining pieces of dough to a circle about

J-inch thick. Carefully arrange the dough circles, well apart, on the prepared baking sheets.

Top each pizza with the Cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Set the pizzas aside. Roll out the remaining piece of dough to a rectangle and divide into long strips, each 5-inch wide and 8-inchcs long. Use these strips to divide each pizza into quarters.

On one quarter of each pizza, place the tomato topping, sprinkling the tomatoes with basil, then scattering anchovy strips and olives over the top.

Top the second quarter with prosciutto and sliced artichokes. On the third quarter, place slices of Mozzarella cheese, in overlapping layers. Cover the Mozzarella with shrimps and asparagus and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

On the fourth quarter, place the mush-rooms and pepperoni sausage. Sprinkle with the paprika.

Sprinkle the pizzas with the remaining olive oil, place them in the centre of the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough is cooked and the cheese has melted.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Transfer the pizzas to individual heated serving dishes and serve imme-diately.

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