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From Market to Plate: Fran's pizza dough

We hope you got to try some of Fran's grilled pizza last week. It's such a treat and makes us feel like we might still be in Burke but we could also be in Naples, Italy.

For real though, last week's pizza celebration—that included several ingredients available at the market, including last week's refrigerator jalapenos—is just another example of how much abundance, talent, and creativity we have right here at home.

As Fran was busy grilling, she told people they could expect the recipe online. As a follow up, she explained:

"There were some requests for the Pizza Dough recipe that I used for the grilled pizzas at the Burke Area Farmer's Market. I mistakenly told people that it was on the BAFM website, but oops! It wasn’t. I am sorry, but here it is now. Ready for you all to create your own delicious grilled or oven baked pizzas.
This crust is our kitchen's tried and true. Hubs and I began making pizza together from a Chef Boyardee box while dating and have journeyed through crusts both frozen and from a tube to find our home with this excellent homemade recipe that makes two thin crusts. One will keep in an oiled, covered bowl in the fridge for a couple of days to make an easy weeknight dinner, or par-bake and freeze for another time.
Below are directions for both oven baking and grilling. While you can use all the dough to make a thick crust with the oven method, I do absolutely recommend dividing the dough for 2 pizzas when grilling. The full recipe of dough is too much to easily handle when transferring and flipping on the grill.'

Pizza Crust

(makes 2 thin crusts)

1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 packet (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast

2 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for shaping

1/2 teaspoon salt

olive oil

corn meal

In a 2-cup measuring cup, combine the water and sugar. Stir in the yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom.

Meanwhile, in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, add 2 1/2 cups of flour and stir to form a well. Pour the bloomed yeast/water combination into the bowl and stir with the mixer to combine. Use a spatula to push any flour from the edges into the dough. When dough has pulled together, sprinkle in the salt and drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. With the mixer, knead for 6-8 minutes, until smooth. Add more flour as kneading, a tablespoon at a time, if dough seems sticky. (This will depend on the weather and temperature of kitchen.)

When dough has kneaded and is smooth, pull out of mixing bowl. Coat the bowl with additional olive oil and replace the dough into the bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm (but not hot) place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450F and place pizza stone (if using…we do have the best crispy crusts with a preheated stone) in the oven to preheat.

After the 20-minute rise, divide dough in half and shape into a 10-12 inch round on a floured surface. Remove preheated pizza stone from oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. Arrange the crust on the stone. (Alternatively, sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal and arrange the crust on the peel. After toppings are added, use the peel to transfer pizza to the hot stone in the oven. Hubs has perfected this technique. I have not.)


Preheat your grill to high. When using our Green Mountain pellet grill, I set the temp to 500F. When using the charcoal grill, I arrange the hot coals in a ring around the outer edge of the grill leaving the center of the grill for the dough to cook over the residual heat.

After the 20-minute rise, divide the dough in half and shape into a 10-12 inch round on an OILED surface. (I use a metal pizza pan.) Make sure that the dough is coated completely with oil (I use olive oil.). This keeps it from sticking to the grill.

Transfer to the preheated grill (I can't seem to maintain a round crust at this point; mine always stretches to oblong. It still tastes good.) Grill the dough for roughly 2 minutes on each side. Remove crust from grill and reduce temp to 325-350F. Add desired toppings to the crust and return to the grill just until cheese is melted and toppings are heated through, usually 12 minutes, but sometimes up to 15 if toppings are chilled. (You will want to leave the grill closed to hold in the heat, but watch/smell for the crust to not burn. It may be necessary to rotate the pizza and keep away from direct flame -turn off half of the burners on a gas grill, or move away from the hot spot on the pellet grill.)

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