I've made pizza from scratch (dough and sauce) a few times, turns out great. I want to try fresh basil on it. Current recipe: Oven, 425° F: blind bake crust 10 minutes, add tomato sauce & fresh mozzarella, cook another 10 minutes. When would be a good time to add fresh basil? With the cheese? 5 minutes later? After it is done?
I like to cut it with scissors and mix it into the sauce so that it gets cooked a bit. The heat releases the classic Italian flavours and aroma.
Also: it depends on the age of the plant, but mature basil has a stronger aroma and can have a bitter cinnamon-like flavour before it's cooked. I'm just guessing by the current time of year that your basil might have reached this phase.
If it has, I would definitely make sure that it's cooked with the sauce, either on the pizza itself during bake or before the sauce goes on.
Fresh basil on a pizza absolutely can't go in the oven - at that point you have dried basil, which is of course still fine, but loses the point of using the fresh basil. As ChalkTalk mentions, if you have basil that is not really able to serve as "fresh basil" anymore, then that's fine, but I encourage you to use fresh, sweet basil if possible.
I use both dried and fresh in pizzas:
- Dried basil in the sauce (added when cooking the sauce, or if using a prepared sauce from the store, added to it before applying to the pizza). Adding dried basil to store-bought sauces is often a good way to make them a bit better!
- Fresh basil, cut in thin strips (roll the basil, then cut across the roll in the shorter dimension - this is called chiffonade), scattered on top of the pizza immediately before serving. This was the style of one of my favorite lunch places a decade or so ago, and I do it at home as a result. Adding it to the top just as you serve it means you get the aroma of the basil as you take your first bite!
The answer is, it depends on the cooking method and the type of oven being used.
If you are using a woodfired oven at 400c + then you absolutely can put the basil on before it is cooked, the pizza will be in the oven for around 60-90 seconds and the basil can remain relatively fresh.
In a home oven at 200c (or thereabouts) where you are cooking the pizza for longer then you could add it at the same time as the cheese so its mainly covered up or close to the end of the cooking time to let some of the flavour infuse with the pizza toppings.
10 minutes pre-bake plus 10 minutes afterwards seems like way too long for pizza. After ten minutes the cheese will be brown and cooked to a texture something like chewing gum.
The crust+sauce can cook together (on the top shelf) for ~3 min @ 280C (550F), which is as hot as a domestic oven usually gets. For good pizza you want the oven as hot as you can possibly make it. The cheese can then go on for another 2-3 minutes afterwards. For a home oven, add the basil at the end - the cooking time, even at 5-6 minutes, is too long for fresh basil to survive.
You can even shorten the cooking time somewhat (to ~4 minutes) and put the cheese on at the start - then finish the top with a blowtorch (and add basil afterwards). This is about as close to a real pizza-oven result as you can get with nothing but a regular domestic oven.
For a pizza neapoletana the official recipe of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN) and the nearly identical EU traditional specialty registration leave no doubt that the basil needs to be placed on the pizza before baking. Stating: "The basil, garlic and the oregano will develop an intense aroma, and will appear brown, but not burned" after baking.