• 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a little extra for San Fran Panna Pizza
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 (28 ounce can) chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 2 cups of Italian cheese blend, shredded (Asiago, Mozzarella, Fontina)
  • Handful of Fresh spinach leaves
  • A few slices Roasted Red Pepper
  • A few slices of Red Onion
  • 1/4 cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

As the chef spokesperson for BJ’s Wholesale Sale Club, I get to travel to television stations around the country sharing my passion for family and food. BJ’s Wholesale (or Membership) Clubs appreciate families and takes good care of them by offering high-quality ingredients at a price that helps every family’s budget.

One of our family’s favorite pastimes is watching football. Although our beloved Patriots did not make it to the Superbowl, our family’s tradition of good food, good fellowship, good fun and good football will continue! We look forward to watching what will be a stress-free game for our family between the San Fransisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Ah, the Superbowl, that time of year when we stuff our faces with great food while watching guys burn several thousands of calories! Works for me.

In honor of the Superbowl XLVII, I have two television segments scheduled this week. I will be sharing two of my favorite pizza recipes perfect for the big game day at NBC-17 and in Greensboro at WGHP Fox 8.  I thought I would try my hand at a much-loved pie known in San Fransisco as Panna Pizza. Panna in Italian, means “cream.”  Panna Pizza originated in Umbria, Italy. I tried my hand at this pizza and to my delight was amazed by the flavor. It is truly special. When so few ingredients are used, it is important to choose good quality products. That is why I go to BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Some tips before we begin:

1. This pizza dough is made with a sponge, which means that half of the flour is fermented, or aged, for a period of time-in this case, for two hours-before being mixed with the remaining ingredients. This is a breadbakers’ trick to coax the subtle flavor characteristics from the flour in a relatively short period of time. I have also made this dough without the sponge, adding all of the flour, yeast and water at once and saving that hour and a half of fermenting time. If you are pressed for time, you can do this, and though you might lose a bit of flavor, it will still be better than most pizzas.

2. This pizza calls for little toppings and sometimes less is best. Having said that be sure to use quality ingredients. Use good tomatoes, a great Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and fresh basil leaves.

Here’s how I made this amazing San Fran Panna Pizza Pie

1. Make your dough by adding yeast and sugar to a large mixing bowl or in your electric mixer. Add warm water and one cup of flour. Stir and cover with plastic wrap. Allow your dough to sit for two hours. The longer the mixture sits, the more flavorful your pizza will be.

2. Add the olive oil, kosher salt and remaining flour. Stir by hand with a wooden spoon just until combined or with your dough hook in an electric standing mixture.

3. Remove onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a soft ball is formed.

4. Clean out your bowl well with warm water, dry thoroughly, grease with a little olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise. The dough should double in size.

5. Begin preparing your sauce and toppings.

6. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the tomato chunks and onions and cook them over medium heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the onions are transparent. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over medium-high heat uncovered for about 30 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Let cool down. (You can freeze what is left and use another time.)

7. Beat your whipping cream until is forms stiff peaks. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

8. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.

9. Place your pizza dough onto a baking stone sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and gently stretch out to a circle.

10. Brush the rim of your dough with the olive oil and season the center with a little salt (if you are watching your salt intake, simply omit this part).

11. Spoon the cream into the center of the dough and use the back of the spoon in a circular motion to spread it over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1- inch rim without any cream.

12. Now add your fresh or favorite tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves on top.

13. Place shavings of a good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top and bake in your preheated oven. (I get my cheese from BJ’s Wholesale Club).

14. Place the pizza on the bottom rack of your oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown and crispy, 8 to 12 minutes. Use a pizza wheel to slide it right onto the oven rack for 3 mintues more.

14. Enjoy!

In honor of the Baltimore Ravens I made a Sweet ‘n Spicy Pizza. Too. Too. Good. and the balsalmic glace drizzled at the end…oh. my.

1. Make your dough. See above.

2.Place dough on a pizza stone. Brush olive oil just around the edge of your dough.

3. Spread your fresh or favorite tomato sauce over the top. Spread with your mixture of shredded Asiago, Parm and Fontina cheeses.

4. Add fresh spinach leaves, sliced red onion, roasted red pepper slices, crumbled bacon and crumbled goat cheese.

5. Bake on the bottom rack of your oven at in a preheated 500 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes.

6. Slide off of the stone and bake another 3 to 5 minutes to crisp up!

7. Drizzle a little balsamic Glace over the top and open wide!