Quattro Stagione (Four Seasons)

Step 1: You will need:
— pizza dough
— pizza sauce
— mozzarella
— ham
— pickled crimini mushrooms
— pickled artichokes
— pitted green olives
— dried oregano
— ground black pepper

Step 2: The first thing you need to do is turn on your oven and preheat it to 220˚C/ 430˚F. While waiting for the oven to heat, prepare your ingredients. Start with the mozzarella: grate it on a coarse grater.

Step 3: Slice the ham thinly.

Step 4: Cut the mushrooms into thin round slices. Chop the artichokes the same way.

Step 5: Now let’s roll out our pizza. You may stretch the pizza dough with your knuckles like all professionals do, but it’s always easier to use a rolling pin. Sprinkle the table with flour, dip the dough in the flour as well and roll it into a thin sheet.

Step 6: Put the crust on an oiled pizza screen. Don’t worry if the crust loses its shape while you handle it — just shape it into a circle again and don’t worry about the small folds that you might get.

Tip: If you don’t have a pizza screen, you may use a baking sheet turned upside down (so that you can easily take your pizza off the sheet). And if you are lucky enough to own a pizza stone, don’t forget to preheat it for about 20 minutes before putting your pizza on it.

Step 7: Now let’s do the saucing. Put some sauce in the center, and then spread it out to the sides using the back of a spoon. Leave the edges without sauce.

Step 8: Lay the mozzarella over the sauce.

Step 9: Imagine that the crust is divided into four parts, each for one season of the year. Lay four-five slices of ham on one quarter — it represents winter.

Step 10: Cover the fall part with the chopped mushrooms.

Step 11: Now the artichokes — they represent spring.

Step 12: Scatter some the olives over the summer part.

Step 13: It’s time to put our pizza in the oven! Keep it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes — it can take more or less than that depending on how quickly your oven bakes.

Tip: Rotate the pizza screen a couple of times while baking to make sure that the pizza cooks evenly.

Step 14: A pizza screen won’t let your pizza get a well-cooked crispy bottom. To achieve a nice crispy pizza, take it off the screen a few minutes before it has finished baking and put it on a baking sheet. Bake the pizza on the sheet for 3-5 minutes more until its edges turn golden.

Step 15: Put the cooked pizza on a serving plate and sprinkle it with some dried oregano and ground black pepper.

Step 16: The Quattro Stagione is done! Slice into eight pieces and serve.

Lesson added by Sergey Burlakov