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homemade pizza set on an outdoor table with plates and drinks

Pizza: When You Want It, How You Want It

Kristy Dodson
Kristy Dodson


We are quite lucky that pizza appears on nearly every neighborhood corner these days. But…I find that quality is often lost in the frenzy. Pizza when you want it, how you want it can easily be made at home. The best part is you are in full control. Who doesn’t like that?

For The Love of Pizza

When I was in high school, Pizza Hut was the place to be. Not necessarily for the food but definitely for the social factor. However, the smells and decorations of a pizza joint still stir up nostalgia for me. Now when we travel I look for old, family-run pizza parlors. You know the kind. They typically have barrel chairs, red and white checked tablecloths, red or green 4×4 tiles on the wall, green or red glass candles, and if you are lucky, some of the fizziest soft drinks around. You may have to venture off the beaten path, but they are in almost every city- ask the locals and go find them!

Pizza: When You Want It

Sadly, some of the mom-and-pop restaurants are fading away. We certainly go when we find them but when we are at home, I have found it’s not that hard to create a pizza when you want it, how you want it. Add some pizzeria décor and Italian music and you’re set.

outdoor table set with pizza

Set a fun table. Try using dishes you don’t pull out very often or even a festive candle. We love to eat on our back porch when the weather is nice and fill the space with a great Italian playlist!

A great playlist for pizza night!

Pizza: How We Want It

Our go-to pizza at home was inspired by a local restaurant called Antico. The ingredients are the perfect combination especially if you have some fresh herbs handy. My favorite ingredient is fresh basil and I keep that growing on my porch all year.

fresh basil being cut
Clip fresh basil just before baking
pizza dough being brushed with avocado oil
Brush the dough with avocado oil
sausage balls cooking in a pan
Cook small balls of Italian sausage.
sauce being spread on pizza dough
Spread fresh pizza sauce.
pizza with sauce and sausage
Add the cooked sausage to the pizza.
fresh basil being placed on a pizza
Add your fresh basil.
mozzarella cheese being placed on a pizza
I recommend fresh mozzarella.

Crust Makes All The Difference

Jump to Recipe

There are two kinds of pizza eaters. Those who crave the crust and even choose their slice by the look of the crust (that’s me 100%) and those who finish their meal and have a pile of “bones”, aka crust, on their plate (that is my husband). What a perfect match when you have one of each at the table!

3 Ideas For Pizza Crust

Getting that perfect crust at home really isn’t difficult. Here are a few suggestions to get you headed in the right direction:

  • Use a bread machine. You can choose your quality of ingredients and it only takes about an hour and a half to have pizza dough.
  • Visit the bakery section of your local supermarket. Many now sell dough that is ready to be shaped and topped. You simply add your toppings and bake at home. Publix makes a classic dough and typically has it available daily.
  • This classic recipe also gives you a delicious dough that only requires a small amount of planning ahead (time for the dough to rise). The wonderful thing about this recipe is it can be used as more than just pizza. Use it for stromboli, calzones, or knots.
pizza dough on floured surface

Pizza Dough

Kristy Dodson
This quick and easy recipe allows you to make your own pizza dough in minutes. This dough is also perfect for making pizza knots, stromboli, or calzones
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 large pizza


  • 3 cups flour Unbleached All Purpose
  • 1 packet yeast pizza crust yeast or RapidRise
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 1 cup warm water Plus 2 Tablespoons


  • Mix the dry ingredients.
  • Add butter and slowly add warm water
  • Once combined set aside to rise for about an hour. I cover my bowl with a towel and set it in a warm place (away from AC vents if possible)
  • Proceed to shape your pizza dough on a floured surface and place on pan for baking.
    pizza dough being stretched
  • Brush dough with avocado oil or olive oil
    pizza dough being brushed with avocado oil
  • Top with desired toppings.
    sauce being spread on pizza dough
  • Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the crust is to your liking and the cheese has melted.

So whether you find an awesome mom-and-pop pizzeria or stay home and make your own, there is almost nothing better than a pizza your way! Do you have a favorite combination of ingredients or a go-to pizzeria? Please share it with me. I just may find it on my next travel adventure!

A knife, fork and spoon for dining.


4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Sal’s Pizza & Pasta House in Sarasota is exactly the old mom-and-pop pizza place you describe. Don’t judge it by the exterior, be adventurous if you want the best pizza in Sarasota, FL.

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