Did you know that Za is a real word. It’s slang for pizza. I have learned this thanks to playing Words with Friends. I have learned a lot of words that I didn’t know exists. When I was super sick and on bed rest this last month I was kind of bored out of my mind so my friends suggested the time suck that is Words with Friends. Lucky for me I am fresh off of studying pages of vocabulary words for all of my teacher certification tests (which I passed all of those by the way…even the grammar section) has helped. As has playing a few of my friends who have highly impressive vocabulary skills. I steal their words a lot and use it against other people. I am evil like that. :P

I am not a huge pizza girl. I don’t crave it like some people do but I don’t usually turn it down. But since I am supposed to stay away from dairy and tomatoes, it’s not the best food for me. But when I was asked to take a look at a cookbook all about pizza I thought, well pizza technically is baking (at least the dough part). But what really sealed the deal for me is that it’s written by a monk. I love me some monks. They make some killer beer, and my guess is this guy was probably pretty darn good with pizza. He is. Or at least his crust and sauce is. Fr. Dominic Garramone is a Benedictine priest of Saint Bede Abbey in Peru, IL. He holds a B.A. in Communications Arts from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota, and an M.A. and an M.T.S. from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana. Known as “Papa Dom” to his students, he is chaplain and drama director for Saint Bede Academy, a co-ed college prep high school. Each summer he directs a theatre program for grade school students. Fr. Dominic is an avid rubberstamp artist and herb gardener, and writes regularly for National Stampagraphic and Potpourri From Herbal Acres. Got to love that he is a teacher as well.

This was my second go of doing pizza in the apartment oven. I have had a take and bake that I didn’t have the great of success with so to be honest I wasn’t expecting much. But I must say that this crust turned out really nice. It was crispy and chewy and really good. Good job Papa Dom. I went with a little bit of sauce and some gruyere cheese and a whole mess of bacon. But you can top with whatever you like.

Papa Dom has other bread books that after having this I think I will be picking up. And of course I must mention that I got this book for free but no other compensation. It was my choice to highlight it. I just can’t pass up a book by a happy, well fed looking, bread baking monk. :D

Italian Style Pizza Crust

1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp.)
1 ¾ cups room temperature water
1 ½ tsp. salt
3 ¾ to 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Olive oil
Place warm water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle yeast over. Whisk and let stand for about 5 minutes.
Stir in salt until dissolved. About 1 cup at a time, add 3 ½ cups of flour, mixing thoroughly each time until flour is completely incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 3 minutes. Dust your palms with lightly with the remaining flour as needed to keep the dough manageable.
Let the dough rest on the countertop, covered with a clean, dry towel, for 5 minutes, then knead for a another 3 minutes.
Using a bench knife or scraper, scoop the dough and place in to a clean bowl that has been oiled. Lightly oil the dough as well. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise in a cool place for 2 hours before use, or in the refrigerator for several hours.
Recipe from Thursday Night Pizza by Father Dominic Garramone, O.S.B.

As for the rest of the pizza I used his 8 minute Pizza Sauce, but since this is a baking blog you will just have to get the book. I gave you the baking portion recipe. :)
I topped mine with gruyere cheese and lots of crispy bacon.
Roll dough out to 12” to 14” inch crust with a thick outer edge. Spread the sauce. Then add cheese. Then add toppings.  If you have a pizza peel use it. I don’t so I used a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 500F (though I did 475) for 10-12 minutes.


  1. “I steal their words a lot and use it against other people.”

    Yeah, I definitely do that. ;)

    I want some of that pizza… it looks so good! And I can never turn down cheesy, bacon-y, pizza-y things. ^_^

  2. I’ve learnt something today… I’m a big fan of homemade pizzas and yours looks so scrummy! Great toppings.



  3. ZA!!! Amazing.

  4. Great post. I will definitely get his book. Pizza looks amazing.

  5. Peabody, Went to Barnes & Noble site and couldn’t find any books by Fr. Dom. What is the name of his cookbook? Many thanks. :)

  6. I love pizza! This looks really good.

  7. Peabody says:

    Look down at the recipe, you will see Recipe from Thursday Night Pizza (that’s the name of the book)

  8. Its funny cause usually I don’t get hungry looking at your baked good, but I could totally eat that at 9 in the morning!

  9. My intolerance is yeast, so I really can’t do Za (ha!) anymore, but it looks so good…

  10. Oh my goodness! Father Dom!!! He used to have a PBS show called “Breaking Bread with Father Dom”, and I was so sad when it ended. MUST find book! (and thanks for unknowingly making my day.)

  11. Pizza is my weakness. Its my comfort food. It is bad enough that I woke up carb crazed this morning and now I see this post, delish!! I could eat pizza any time of day, everyday.

    Ive always been afraid of making my own dough. I rely on my awesome breadmaker machine to make my pizza dough. However, this dough recipe sounds simple enough and I just might try it this weekend!!

    Thanks so much for posting this!! I love your blog!

  12. I am a WWT addict (CupcakeBarista if you wanna have a go) and I swear half the words I see (and now make myself) I don’t believe are actual words!

    Pizza looks amazing, too.

  13. I am making pizza tonight with my boys. I have actually grown to love making it now that my husband has celiac and we have started making our own dough from scratch. The key is the oven temperature. Yours looks delicious! Oh and we play scrabble on the iPhone and it is so addictive. We just heard about words with friends…that could be dangerous for me!

  14. Yummy! I love good pizza. I need to try making it at home; this recipe seems a good place to start.
    Guess I’ll have to find another sauce recipe! haha
    A savory recipe was a nice little surprise this Friday morning.

  15. Congrats on passing your certifications!

  16. I have gluten/lactose and other food intolerances, so the closest I’ll get to this pizza is making it for my guys. The crust looks awesome, and the dough is simple and easy to make. Thank you.

  17. You completely rock, Peabody!

  18. This looks yummy. We got a pizza stone recently so I’m looking forward to trying this.

  19. concerned says:

    i’ve been following your blog for a while now. i love your cooking.

    but as to everything else

    those who can’t do teach, but you have to be kidding me. what school did you graduate from? you cause me to fear for the future of mankind.

    quit your day job. stay home. bake. don’t mis-educate anyone any longer.

    i am happy i don’t have children to trust to the misguided education system.

  20. Looks gorgeous. I’ve been looking for an amazing pizza dough recipe. I need to buy a pizza stone first though :(

  21. I also used to watch Breaking Bread with Father Dom and I loved it. Good to know there’s a cookbook!

    I’ve been trying to eat better and have summarily avoided pizza, but this looks so good.

  22. Hilarious! THat’s how I learned “za” was a word too… I was convinced that my “friend” was cheating so I looked it up! ;) Yummy looking “za” you got there!

  23. Lucky for me I am having Za for dinner tonight. Your pictures made me so hungry!

  24. If I were a monk I would probably bake and eat a lot of pizza. So I’m willing to bet this was pretty damn good. Looks pretty damn good.

  25. Oh Peabody,
    Looks delish…esp. after my supper
    but WTH do these people
    A) find you
    B) feel the need to express their feelings in such a f&^%*ng nasty manner?

  26. Hip Hooray! Loving your blog. I do love pizza and now I want some–along with salted caramel chocolate chip(s) ice cream!

    About “concerned” . . . while I do not go about speaking about my education but, while I am on the topic, I have a master’s degree from ASU and I completely disagree with your overused cliche about those who can’t do, teach. While reading your statement I realized the irony (read: nerve) to suggest Peabody not “mis-educate anyone any longer.” Please tell me you will attempt to proof your work before openly publishing your ridiculous rants. You are clearly “mis-educated” and somehow missed the value in spelling (read: a while is awhile)–just a suggestion.

  27. I just stumbled upon you blog – love it! I am seriously hysterical!! Connie, Get over yourself! You’re a snob. If you are so bothered STOP READING!

  28. I’m playing Words right now! Such a great time waster. I’m cookiebakerlynn (what a stretch, right?)

    Pizza is a crave food for me. I’ve got to try this dough. Interesting that it’s Italian style and uses AP flour.

  29. I swear he had a show on PBS years ago. If it’s the same guy (and how many baking monks with cookbooks & PBS shows are out there!?!) he has some great recipes. I seem to remember a yummy scone recipe in one of his books (chocolate chocolate chip maybe?). The book I’m thinking of isn’t on Amazon-must be older & out of print but a library might have a copy.

  30. So others remember the show too! Also, what’s with the haters? I think they need to indulge in some carbs & full fat dairy & other happy foods.

  31. I’ve never tried to make pizza dough before but this looks too good not to try. And on a side note, I would be thrilled to have someone like you teaching my kids. You are honest, bright, have a great sense of humor and have a wonderful sense of who you are that’s not dependent on what you drive, what you wear or the size of your jeans. Young girls today don’t have many role models out there today like that.

  32. I’m not supposed to have dairy either, but I’d have a hard time turning down a slice of this pizza!! The bacon looks amazing! :-)

  33. To comment #19…I would have loved having Peabody for a teacher when I was in school! Intelligent, extremely literate, wicked sense of humor and the ability to laugh at themselves! The best of ALL worlds. I think we would be BFFs if I still lived in the Emerald City!

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