Food & Drink

La Panadería’s Sourdough

The San Antonio bakery shares a recipe for bread perfected in a Dutch oven

Photo: Courtesy of La Panadería

When the brothers David and Jose Cáceres, who grew up in Mexico City, settled in San Antonio in 2013, they explored the area the best way they knew how—by taste. “We drove around and stopped into cafés and restaurants to eat three or four or five times a day, getting familiar with our new home,” Jose says. 

They soon realized they had something to add, setting up a stand at the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market to sell bread and pan dulce—pastries like tequila almond croissants and traditional conchas—all inspired by the eighteenth-century Epoca de Oro of Mexican bread making. Within a year, they opened their brick-and-mortar La Panadería near the market, followed by a second location downtown. Both now draw lines out the door for their sweets, sourdoughs, and birote, a baguette native to Guadalajara. “It’s the idea of how bread was baked two hundred years ago in Mexico,” says David, the head baker. That age-old method includes letting the dough rest for up to seventy-two hours before baking it to crisp perfection in a stone oven. 

Lucky for home bakers, David’s basic sourdough recipe doesn’t require a stone oven or week-long preparation—just a Dutch oven and a little bit of patience.  


  • For Poolish (Sourdough Starter)

    • 2 cups flour

    • 1 cup water

    • Pinch of yeast

  • For Dough (Yield: 2 loaves)

    • 7 cups of flour, plus more to prevent sticking

    • 1½ tsp. yeast

    • 2½ cups water

    • Olive oil or cooking spray as needed

    • 1½ tbsp. salt


  1. Create the poolish by combining the flour, water, and yeast, and mixing together by hand. The water should be around room temperature (roughly 75–78 degrees). Set aside for 12–16 hours. It is ready when the texture looks bubbly.

  2. For dough, combine flour and yeast. Add poolish and water to mixture and mix with hands for 2–3 minutes. 

  3. Add oil to a bowl to prevent sticking and move the dough to the bowl. Stretch the dough with your hands and set aside for 30 minutes to let rise.

  4. Add salt to dough. Fold the dough (pull from edges and fold on top of the ball) and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

  5. Apply oil to hands and continue to fold the dough again with more tension. Set the dough aside and let rise for 30 minutes. 

  6. Sprinkle flour on top of dough and cutting board before moving the dough to the cutting board. Sprinkle flour on top of dough once more and fold the dough again with tension. Round the dough and cut in half. Set aside for 30 minutes to let rise. 

  7. Use a separate bowl or basket to continue to shape the dough. Place the soft side down inside the bowl/basket. Refrigerate the dough for 1–2 hours.

  8. Preheat oven and Dutch oven to 500 degrees. Score bread with razor and bake for 20 minutes with Dutch oven lid covered. After the first 20 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 40 minutes or so until fully baked.