Use any mix of fresh herbs that suits your taste buds. Just remember that aromatics like rosemary, thyme, and sage can be overpowering in large quantities.
Makes crust for four 12-inch pizzas
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water, about 100°
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 6½ cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon Italian-blend mixed dried herbs (optional)
In a large measuring cup, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Combine sugar, salt, and bread flour in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook. Or, to mix by hand, place in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the water, followed by 1 tablespoon of oil.
Finely chop fresh herbs by hand or in a food processor. Do not purée.
Turn the mixer on low to blend, or begin stirring the flour into the liquid with a wooden spoon, a little at a time. When ingredients are almost combined, add the chopped herbs and continue mixing until herbs are well distributed.
Turn the mixer on medium-low to knead for 5 minutes. If working dough by hand, turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Use a pressing motion with the heels of your hands to push and stretch the dough. Work dough until mixture is slightly shiny and not too sticky to the touch.
The kneaded dough should be divided into four equal pieces. Store any dough not being used in a resealable bag in the refrigerator. Oil remaining dough and place in a bowl, covered, to rise for 1 hour. Punch the dough down, shape into two disks, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Grab dough by the edges, turning the disk a few inches at a time, allowing gravity to stretch the dough without tearing. Roll the dough into a crust shape or press into a pizza pan. If desired, sprinkle dried herbs around the edges of the crust. Top as directed in recipe.