Homemade Pizza + A Traverse City Weekend Getaway

Ham and cheese pizza with perfectly chewy homemade dough helps kick off a beautiful weekend up north.

The arrival of open firearms season is a holiday many Michigan sportsmen, including my dad and husband, anxiously wait for. It’s also a time my mom and I look forward to, but for a completely different reason.

While the men are donning fluorescent orange and sighting in their weapons, we’re gearing up for different kind of adventure. One that usually involves shopping, eating, craft beers and some quality R&R.

While we’ve typically gone to Grand Rapids for our ‘Opening Day Girls Weekend’ we decided to switch it up this year and head up north to Traverse City.

Traverse City is perfect for a weekend expedition. There’s great shopping and restaurants downtown and the Leelanau Peninsula is always worth the drive.

We took off Friday morning, making a quick pit stop at Uncle John’s Cider Mill for some donuts.

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On Saturday we drove up the Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan’s wine country, making our way up the coast along winding roads and through some amazing scenery.

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leelanau-pen-4 leelanau-pen-2The small towns that are usually inhabited by tourists in the summer were cleared out except for the occasional busload of people touring the wineries.

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We made it all the way to the northernmost point of the peninsula and stopped at the Garage Bar and Grill in Northport for some amazing BBQ pork and gumbo. Totally worth checking out if you ever make your way up the ‘little finger’ of Michigan.

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We had such an amazing time, even with the frigid November temps.

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cheers

The night before we left for our weekend getaway, Jay and I invited my parents over for pizza and cards.

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I’ve been loving experimenting with pizza dough recipes lately. This recipe was adapted from the Todd English version. Compared to other pizza doughs, it’s very sticky and a little difficult to work with but the crust comes out perfectly crispy and it’s totally worth the extra effort.

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pizza-toppings

To top our pizzas, I made a quick pizza sauce with just a can of drained diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pinch of brown sugar.

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Jay was in charge of the toppings so he picked up fresh mozzarella, ham, basil, and canned mushrooms, which are a personal favorite of his.

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The recipe makes enough for 4 pizzas which feed 1-2 people each which in our family means 1 pizza per person because it’s just that good.

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Homemade Pizza

For the Dough

Adapted from Todd English’s Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons (1 Packet) Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 2/3 Cups Lukewarm Water, between 110-115 degrees
  • 3 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour, plus additional for rolling
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy. Stir in the olive oil.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the water mixture and stir to combine the ingredients. The dough will be very wet and sticky.

Using a mixer fitted with the dough hook, knead on low speed for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and firm or knead by hand for 12-13 minutes.

Divide the dough into four balls and place on an oiled baking sheet, rolling the dough to cover with oil. Place plastic wrap to a damp towel over the dough and allow it to rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours until they are doubled in bulk.

For the Pizza Sauce

  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Pinch of Salt

Drain the tomatoes and place all the ingredients in a blender and turn on high until everything is combined.

To Assemble the Pizzas

Preheat the oven to 500. Roll the dough out on a clean, floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet and add sauce and toppings. Place in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is crisp.