Fancy a pizza with an overdose of cheese? Then you can stop looking. We have the ultimate quattro formaggi pizza for you. Just like regular pizza, there are many different variations of the four cheese pizza. This is ours with a great mix of different cheeses for an incredibly rich pizza.
You can make a lovely pizza in your barbecue. But you bake a perfect pizza in a pizza oven. And preferably fired on wood. A real pizza oven just gets a lot hotter and is built in such a way that the heat is conducted over the pizza. Just like in an authentic pizza oven at the pizzeria. That’s why we wanted to try the Burnhard Nero pizza oven.
For this four-cheese pizza, we use a poolish to get an even tastier dough. Poolish is nothing more than equal parts water and flour and a little bit of yeast. You make that poolish a day before you start making the dough. Because the poolish has time to ripen, it makes for a better-tasting bottom.
This type of pastry is called poolish because a Polish baker invented it. It is the most straightforward form of pre-dough because it is easy to make and only needs to ferment at room temperature for a day.
The next day we pour the poolish into the rest of the ingredients and knead it well. Then we divide the dough into four equal balls.
Roll the doughballs through the flour before placing them on baking paper with enough distance from each other. If you put them too close together, you will end up with one large dough ball. We let them rise again for 2 hours under cling film or a damp tea towel so that they do not dry out.
In the meantime, we heat up the Burnhard Nero. We fill the firebox with pellets and a firelighter and light it. After a few minutes, the pellets burn, and we put the firebox in the back of the Nero.
You can burn the Burnhard Nero on pellets, charcoal or blocks of wood. And a combination of them. This way, you can heat the Nero to 350 to 400°C (650 to 750F) in 20 to 25 minutes. If you don’t like to play with fire, Burnhard also has a gas module for the Nero. Then you can get started with a turn of the button without having to pay attention to the fire.
If we close the door, the boiler can get very hot. You can see very clearly on the thermometer how hot the Nero gets. In the meantime, you can start building the pizza.
We use two types of Mozzarella, Gorgonzola and Parmesan, for this four cheese pizza. We use the dry mozzarella together with the buffalo mozzarella that you buy in bags. That’s not to say dry mozzarella is dry. It’s just a lot fatter and creamier. And therefore also a bit richer in taste. We use the lighter buffalo mozzarella as an accent for the rest of the distinct cheeses.
Gorgonzola is a bit spicier, so you use it in moderation, and Parmesan cheese is the salty finish of this quattro formaggi pizza. The combination of these cheeses is perfect, in our opinion, but you are, of course, free to experiment with different cheeses. In any case, don’t buy pre-grated cheese. It is too dry to melt and also tastes less fresh.
When the pizza balls have grown twice the size in 2 hours, you can shape them into a pizza bottom. Press the ball flatt with your fingertips without touching the edges. Then turn and stretch with two flat hands until the bottom is about 30 cm round.
Then spread the tomato sauce over the pizza with the back of a gravy spoon. A thin layer is enough, and make sure to keep the edges clear. Then you can add the cheese. First, put on an even layer of the dry mozzarella. Then a few pieces of Gorgonzola and buffalo mozzarella. Finally, we grate a thin layer of Parmesan cheese over it.
Because they are all easy-melting cheeses, except for the Parmesan cheese, we make sure that the cheese has enough distance from the edge. Otherwise, the cheese could melt over. This will cause a mess on the pizza stone and can make the bottom stick.
Because we have formed the bottom in a flour layer, there is enough flour on the underside of the dough not to stick to the pizza peel. Gently shake the pizza shovel back and forth to check. If the dough does stick, pull it up a bit on that side to throw some extra flour underneath.
The Nero is nice and hot, and to get some extra flame in the oven, we fill it up with extra pellets. You can also be small blocks of wood.
Because the flames roll over the pizza from behind, it is crucial that you turn the pizza halfway through so that the other side can also get cooked. We baked this pizza in 2 minutes. The cheese has completely melted and has a golden-brown crust here and there. This is how we prefer to see the pizza.
If this doesn’t work the first time, they are still delicious pizzas. Any pizza you have made yourself is still better than a bought one.
When the cheese is still melted, we sprinkle it with a bit of extra Parmesan cheese and our pizza seasoning. Then we let the pizza cool slightly otherwise, you will burn your tongue on the hot cheese. And you don’t like that, we can assure you.
- 300 grams of water
- 7 grams of dry yeast
- 500 grams of flour
- 10 grams of salt
The four cheeses
- Dry mozzarella (not grated)
- Buffalo mozzarella (in a bag)
- Parmesan cheese
For the sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Tin (400 grams) of peeled tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
The pizza seasoning
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp onion granulate
- 2 tsp garlic granulate
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- One day before you start making the pizza, make the poolish by mixing 50 grams of water, 50 grams of flour and 2 grams of yeast in a sealable container. Seal this and leave it on the counter at room temperature.
- The next day you mix 450 grams of flour, 250 grams of water, 10 grams of salt and 5 grams of yeast and add the poolish. Mix this well and then knead it for 15 minutes into a smooth ball of dough.
- Divide the dough into four equal balls and roll them in the flour. Let the balls rise again for 2 hours on a sheet of baking paper until they have doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, you make the sauce. Place two crushed garlic cloves with ½ tsp chilli flakes and 1 tsp dry oregano in a pan while it’s warming up with olive oil. Before the garlic turns brown, add the peeled tomatoes and break them up with a wooden spoon. Season the sauce with salt and sugar. Then you can run the sauce through a blender.
- In the meantime, heat up the pizza oven to a temperature of 400°C (650F) and prepare everything for building the pizzas.
- Form a pizza bottom from a ball of dough. Do not try to use a roller. A non-round pizza is also pizza. Pull the base onto a pizza peel.
- Cover the bottom with two spoons of tomato sauce, a layer of grated dry mozzarella, pieces of gorgonzola and buffalo mozzarella and then a thin layer of grated Parmesan cheese.
- Slide the pizza onto the stone and wait until the side where the heat is coming from is nicely browned. Then turn the pizza and cook the other side as well.
- Sprinkle the pizza with a bit of pizza seasoning and wait for the cheese to be a little less hot before taking a bite.