Better-Than-CPK Homemade Pizza {on my plate}

homemade margherita pizza

California Pizza Kitchen has nothing on us!

Friday nights around here are usually pizza-and-movie night–and by movie, I mean something for the kids off Netflix, like Thomas the Tank Engine or a Veggie Tales or something along those lines. I have to admit, I’ll be glad when the kids are more interested in movies not starring an animated character of some sort. But anyway. My point is not to talk about the movies. It’s to talk about the pizza.

We used to order out from a variety of places, usually Papa John’s or Pizza Hut, since they delivered to our home. But after awhile, we got tired of the same ol’ same old. And more often than not, the pizza would arrive lukewarm (and sometimes an *hour* after we’d placed the order. It’s a pepperoni pizza; how long could it take?). So, my husband started making our own pizza from scratch. We’re not talking a Chef Boyardee kit (which is what my family did growing up when we wanted to make pizza “from scratch”). Several years ago now, before we had kids, we saw this program on the Food Network (I think) all about making homemade pizzas. My husband took that guy’s ideas and made them his own, and we’ve experimented ever since. And over the past few months, he’s even been making his own homemade sauces. (I know, I’m really lucky. :-))

Here’s one version of our better-than-take-out pizza:

Dough (Breadman machine recipe)*

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients to the machine in order shown and select pizza dough cycle. When finished, this 1-pound of dough is enough to make 2 thin crust pizzas, which is all our family needs right now (how this will change once the kids get a few years on them, I’m sure!).

*we mix this up in our bread machine; if you don’t have one, I’m sure you can find pizza dough recipes online


In a food processor, puree 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar, 2-3 tbsp olive oil, fresh basil, fresh oregano, 2 cloves fresh garlic to combine flavors. Simmer in a sauce pot for about 20 to 30 minutes before using on pizza. Refrigerate leftovers.

homemade pizza toppings

Adding toppings on top of the homemade crust. This was a margherita pizza, so we used fresh Roma tomatoes rather than a sauce.


Roll out your dough and brush on a light coat of olive oil (this helps brown and crisp the crust). Add sauce, toppings and cheese, and bake on a preheated pizza stone in a 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly and the crust is done.

homemade pizza in the oven

The preheated pizza stone helps ensure the crust becomes nice and crisp

No need to order take out or delivery when this comes piping hot right out of your own oven–and you know exactly what’s going in and on it, which makes it even better!

pizza slice

Time to dig in and enjoy!


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