Herbed pizza dough is a way to boost the flavors of your homemade pizzas. Just by adding a few herbs and garlic when you make the crust, you’ll get a whole new spectrum of flavors in your pizza.
I’ve made a simple pizza crust for some time now but never thought about making an herb, garlic crust. This crust recipe is inspired by Jeanmarie Brownson of the Chicago Tribune, featured recently in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The dough contains your standard Bobby Flay ingredients: all-purpose flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and water. Then to up the flavor, dried oregano, dried basil, and garlic gets added.
I used relatively small amounts of the herbs and the flavor comes through nicely. A little bit more could be used as well as any other herb you desire. Thyme and rosemary immediately come to mind.
Mixing the Dough with a Stand Mixer
Use a stand mixer to make your dough. Place the flour, salt, oregano, basil, and garlic into the bowl and attach a dough hook to the mixer. To proof the yeast, (to make sure it is alive and viable), add the yeast and sugar to the warm water and stir it together. In about 5 minutes you should see some foaming taking place to let you know that it is working.
Start your mixer on #2 speed and add the water mixture. The dough will start forming. You want it to be dry enough so it doesn’t stick to the bowl. Add more flour a teaspoon at a time if it seems sticky.
On the other hand, if the dough seems hard and not coming together, add water a teaspoon at a time to loosen it.
Let the machine knead the dough at #2 speed for up to 20 minutes. I have found that kneading for a longer time, the dough responds better to stretching and forming.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
Mixing by Hand
If you don’t have a stand mixer, the dough can be made by hand. Put the flour, salt, oregano, basil, and garlic into a large bowl and stir together. Proof your yeast the same way as described above.
Then make a fist-sized pocket in the flour and pour in the water. Use a wooden spoon to stir the flour and water together until they are combined and a rough dough is formed. Flour a counter or a cutting board and add the dough. Knead the dough by hand adding a bit more flour if it sticks to the counter or your hands. Knead for 5 or 6 minutes. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap for 1 hour to rise.
Remove the dough from the stand mixer bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal balls and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
At this point, you can tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days and then use. Or, place it in your freezer to thaw and use later.
Forming the Pizza
Place the dough ball on a flat, floured surface and press with your palm and fingers to form a roughly circular shape. Then use a floured rolling pin to finish forming a thin, circular crust. Carefully add more flour under the dough to make sure that it releases from the counter.
Dock the pizza dough which is taking a fork or docking tool to pierce the dough multiple times so the dough doesn’t bubble up excessively when heating in the oven. Lots of holes punched in the dough will prevent this from happening.
Bake in a Hot Oven
Preheat your oven to 500°, (or even 550°). A hot oven helps to get the desired crispness to the crust. I always pre-bake the crust for several minutes which starts to brown the bottom and keeps the crust from being soggy. Once the crust has been pre-baked, remove it from the oven then add your toppings.
A pizza stone is nice to use for a crisp crust. If you don’t have a pizza stone, bake the pizza on a cookie sheet. The pizza baked on a stone is going to bake faster than on a cookie sheet so the timing will differ. I find that keeping an eye on the progress works best anyway.
I made a red sauce for the pizzas that was really simple but has great flavor. The key is to get some good spices in there and then let it simmer for 30 to 40 minutes while stirring every few minutes. I do this as the dough is rising.
The shiitake mushroom pizza with herbed pizza dough tasted fantastic. Spice up your dough and take your pizza game to flavor town.
And here are some more tasty recipes to try:
Herbed Pizza Dough with Shiitake Mushrooms
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced then pasted
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2/3 cup water at 105° to 110°
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp (1 package) yeast
- 1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp fennel seeds , ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
Pizza (2 small...each made from 1/4 of the dough recipe)
- 8 oz . sliced Shiitake mushrooms
- 8 oz . grated mozzarella cheese
- pizza sauce , (1/2 of the sauce mixture for 2 small pizzas)
- Place flour, salt, garlic, oregano and basil in the bowl of a stand mixer
- Add sugar and yeast to the heated water, stir and proof for 5 minutes
- Start the mixer on low, (#2 Kitchen Aid), with a dough hook and add the water/ yeast mixture.
- Mix until the dough forms around the hook, adding water,1 tsp at a time until the dry ingredients are all incorporated. If too sticky, add flour 1 teaspoon at a time until it no longer sticks to the bowl.
- Continue to knead for 20 minutes on no more than #2 speed.
- Remove the dough hook then cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.
- Place a pizza stone in the oven on a center rack if using and preheat the oven to 500°.
- Take the dough from the bowl, divide in half and then cover with a towel or plastic wrap for 30 minutes
- Roll the dough on a flour-coated surface to form the pizza, (two large). Or, divide the dough as desired to make smaller pizzas. Once rolled out to the desired thickness, dock the dough with a fork or docking tool. The more holes the better. This will prevent large bubbles from forming.
- Place the formed dough onto a lightly floured cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Or flour a pizza peel and place the formed dough onto the peel and slide onto the pizza stone, Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until slight browning occurs.
- Remove from the oven and add sauce, (meat if desired), most of the cheese, mushrooms, and then the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the cheese and dough has browned.
- Remove from the oven and slice and serve
- Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes while stirring every few minutes, to thicken.
- Adapted from Jeanmarie Brownson of the Chicago Tribune.
- Nutrition information is for 2 large pizzas, 8 servings, with 1 lbs. mushrooms and 1 lbs. cheese. All other ingredients as stated, (meatless).
- You can adjust the amounts and types of herbs as desired.
- The times may differ for your oven so it is best to visually watch your pizza for doneness.