Tomato Sauce: Fresh Garlic and Basil or Dried?

What has been your experience with using fresh garlic and basi vs. dried? Pros and cons to either one?

Make up one with fresh basil and one with dried. If you’re looking for the difference, you’ll be amazed at how much better the fresh is. We don’t add garlic to ours, so I can’t be sure, but I bet it would be the same. Be prepared for your customers to call and ask what “the green stuff” is in their pizza. Have a great response ready about it being fresh herbs and how you get regular calls about it because, unfortunately, not a lot of pizza places take the time and effort to use fresh herbs in their sauces anymore.

Quick tip: We make batches by the case. However, we keep a few of the plastic containers the dried spices come in and put one can of sauce in it with the herbs and spices we would use for a full batch and refrigerate. When we need a new batch, we just pull that and mix with five cans of sauce. It’s great for those times that you get caught with not enough sauce and can whip up a batch much quicker. But, the other plus is that the acidity of the sauce preserves your fresh herbs so they don’t go bad if you have a slow stretch or have to much on hand.

There is a huge difference in the flavor between dried basil and fresh, green leaf basil. The dried basil is pungent, while the fresh basil has a boquet of flavor that doesn’t over power the cheese and tomato components of the pizza. The difference in flavor between dried garlic and fresh garlic isn’t as great, but it is still there. I find much less of a difference between fresh and prepared garlic.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Pectin is what makes jellies and jams “set up” and it impacted by garlic. Some times operators find that the sauce sets up when using fresh or chopped garlic. One way to avoid this is to carmelize the garlic by running it through your oven before mixing it in your sauce… This will knock down the pectin and prevent the problem. I also find that it creates an interesting flavor.

Actually, it is not the pectin in the garlic. The garlic acts as a catalyst which causes the pectin in the tomatoes to gell. By heating the garlic (microwave) to above 180F you will denature the catalyzing enzyme and prevent the pectin in the tomatoes from gelling.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for all the responses. I always believe that fresh is better but most of the sauce recipes I see call for dried spices. I was wondering if there was a reason for that other than just effort.

They use dried only for the convenience. If you want great, go for the fresh.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We had fresh herbs from our garden all summer and it was wonderful…Got addicted to Basil and/or Mint Mohitos (booze free)…

In comparison, how much fresh herbs do you use compared to dried?

I normally go by taste as you can’t come close to comparing the flavor, but for starters, go with 4 or 5 medium size leaves rolled and cut on the bias, then sprinkle over the sauce. You want to make sure the fresh basil is covered to prevent scorching.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I would add chopped fresh garlic TO THE INDIVIDUAL PIZZA, if desired. Pizza sause doesn’t have to have garlic in it. In fact, in NY, that is rare. Offer chopped fresh garlic as a topping, freee if you want. Also, a shaker of GRANULATED GARLIC at the table is cool

As, far as basil…always use fresh. I put some on BEFORE and AFTER the pizza is made…EXPCEPT with plain cheese…uless requested. That is because I figure PLAIN CHEESE will go to kids a lot and they don’t appreciate the “green stuff”

Finally, use basil fresh, pureed into the sauce. Use orgegano DRIED, but DO NOT put it into the big batch of dough, sprinkle it on each pizza. Every time we have dried to use it in the batch of sauce, it seems to sour the sauce…don’t know why, it just does. Fresh basil doesn’t do this.

I have become a follower of a product called Micro Herbs. This is a small, green leaf oregano that works very well in all types of pizza and pasta applications.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor