Simple Hosting How-To: Easy Homemade Pizza with Aperol Spritz

Our Spring catalog recently hit mailboxes carrying with it an introduction to our newest collection and a special look inside the home of Dawn Weeman. As we’ve previously written, Dawn elevates hospitality to something of an art. This quality has been apparent from our very first meeting. Back in 2018 when we were scouting locations to shoot our Holiday catalog, we visited Dawn’s home outside Hood River, Oregon. For what was supposed to be a quick day of shooting and research, Dawn whipped up homemade pizza for lunch. As our crew left, she offered cups of coffee in to-go cups and fresh cut flowers from her garden. 

We were so taken with her warmth, generosity, and incredible cooking that we wanted to share two of her go-to recipes with our readers (and the ones that we personally enjoyed!). 



"This recipe is my go-to for summer hosting because it’s super simple and doesn’t involve lingering near a hot stove when it’s already hot outside. If I’m not making pizza, it’s burgers on the grill or a dish from Dishing up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis, our neighbor and friend."


Pizza Dough:
Yield: 2 crusts

  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1 1/4 cups cold water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided

  • Cooking spray



    1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl, let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 1/4 cups cold water, oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

    2. Combine 5 ¼ cup flour, yeast mixture, and cold water mixture in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low for 8 minutes or until dough begins to form. Let rest for 2 minutes then mix on low for 6 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes), then add some of the remaining 1/4 cup flour a tablespoon at a time to prevent dough from sticking to your hands (dough will feel sticky).

    3. Divide the dough in half, and place each portion in a large zip-top bag coated with cooking spray. Seal and chill overnight or up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

    4. Roll out the dough and top as you please. A can of San Marzano whole tomatoes crushed by hand is a perfect base, as is garlic olive oil. Grill or bake on a pizza stone over high heat for 7-10 min (keep an eye on it as times can vary quite bit!) I love adding fresh arugula and prosciutto to finish. 

    5. Note: You can freeze the dough in heavy-duty, freezer-safe zip-top plastic bags for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator when you are ready to use it.


"We are so fortunate to have friends stopping by all summer and through the winter, especially after skiing at Mt. Hood. I always want these visitors to know that I am happy to see them, and chatting over food and drink is my favorite way to connect with folks. When it's hot, I will always serve a local rosé (the Columbia Gorge AVA!), Aperol spritzes, or mocktails with fresh fruit and herbs from my garden. Here is my go-to Aperol Sprtiz recipe — a classic and so refreshing!"

Aperol Spritz

Fill a glass halfway with ice, then add 2 ounces of Aperol, 2 ounces of sparkling white or rose wine and 2 ounces of sparkling water. Garnish with half an orange slice and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!



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