Monday, 29 June 2015

Four Seasons Pizza / Pizza Quattro Stagioni

Four Seasons Pizza/Pizza Quattro Stagioni

four-seasons-pizza-quattro-stagioni-bell pepper-tomatoes-olives-oil-mushrooms-pizza-dough

If I had to choose my favourite weekend dinner, it would be a pizza without any doubt. Pizza is the most sought after fast food in the world. A variation of a pizza exists in  some Arabic and Turkish cuisines. Arabic and Turkish pizzas are cheeseless topped with minced meat and herbs.

The best thing about a pizza is that you don't need any particular season to enjoy it. A pizza is a food for all the seasons. There are many varieties of a pizza but my favourite is the thin crust Pizza Quattro Stagioni aka Four Seasons Pizza.

Nothing beats the taste of homemade pizza! Four Season Pizza is a classic Italian Pizza comprising of four sections of toppings each representing a different season of the year. This is a flexible recipe as you can adjust the toppings according to your liking. I have used asparagus for the spring, bell pepper for Summer and mushrooms and olives for the other two seasons. I also like to add a couple of cherry tomatoes for extra colour.

The key to making a good pizza lies in the dough. The better the dough is kneaded the softer will be the pizza. Make sure that you are using a good quality flour with a strong gluten content. A flour with a high gluten content ensures a nice elastic dough.

When making a pizza make sure you use the appropriate amount of yeast in the dough, less yeast prevents the dough from rising while more will results in the bread rising too fast with a strong smell of yeast. The ratio of water is also important in developing a good dough.

Too much water will result in a hard to work dough, too little water, on the other hand, will produce a dry and crumbly dough. Another important factor contributing to a good dough is the proper kneading process.

Under kneading, the dough will result in less gluten development which will produce  a hard to work   dough and a less soft pizza. Resting the dough is also important for a good pizza. Resting the dough ensures that the dough will rise well.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes☻   Cooking Time: 10 minutes☻    Yield: 7 Pizzas☻    Cuisine: Italian

IngredientsQuantity
plain white flour600g
luke warm water 250 ml
yeast 7g
sugar1 tsp
olive oil2 tbsp
salt1 tbsp
Ingredients For The ToppingQuantity
pizza sauce 100g
asparagus500g
mushrooms500g
yellow bell pepper 3 medium
cherry tomatoes8-10
black olives60g
mozzarella cheese500g
olive oil for drizzlingas needed
dried oregano herb1 tbsp
saltto taste


Note: The quantities of vegetables are an estimated value that you can adjust according to your needs.

For The Pizza Sauce:

1.Saute 1 small onion in 1 tbsp olive oil till translucent add a chopped clove of garlic and cook for a few seconds before adding 100g of tomato paste. Now add a 1/4 cup water and cook on low heat.
Season with salt pepper and herbs. Simmer on low heat for approximately 30 minutes.

2. Slice the mushrooms and bell pepper. Saute the mushrooms, bell pepper and asparagus spears in 2 tbsps of olive oil.


Method:

Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup warm water and 1tsp sugar. Set aside.



Measure 600g flour in a mixing bowl set aside.


The yeast mixture will start to foam after a few minutes, add this mixture to the measured flour.



Start to knead the flour, yeast mixture either with your hand or with the standing mixer. Add the remaining water little at a time while kneading. Now add the oil and lastly the salt. Keep kneading till the dough comes together in the form of a ball.


Take some oil spread around the bowl place the dough in it and leave to rest for 3- 4 hrs to rise. Cover with a cling film.

The dough will double in size after 3-4 hrs.


Divide the dough into equal sized balls and once again set aside covered, in a warm place for half an hour.


Press each ball individually and start spreading with the hands as shown in the picture.


Once the ball has been stretched to the desired size spread the pizza sauce with the help of a spoon.


Top with shredded mozzarella as shown in the photo. Roll some dough into a thin log (mine was not thin) and it didn't look so pretty after baking. Divide into two and arrange on the rolled pizza so as to divide it into 4 equal sections.


Arrange the sauted vegetables in each of the sections as shown in the photo. Also arrange the olives and tomato halves as shown.


Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with dried oregano. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees till cheese melts and the crust is light golden brown in colour.


I hope you like this recipe. Involve your kids let them arrange the topping and they will enjoy it too!

Make use of leftover pizza dough and try these easy and amazingly delicious Pizza Roses for a quick snack.

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