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Sourdough at Home

Sourdough at Home

When Lucio’s bread baking class saved my quarantine blues


There are very few things in life that are more satisfying than baking bread. Watching the amazing process of turning flour, water and salt into what you see in the photos above still inspire me. During this time I’ve seen about 10 million articles online about baking bread at home. Always late to the party, I thought I’d join in and put together a blog and video with a bonus. Footage from the bread baking class I took in October 2019 at Surfas Culinary district in Culver City. Lucio Mejia, founder of the Oakland Bread Studio, conducts bread baking classes in Southern California a few times a year. While I had baked bread before, even with a starter, Lucio helped fine tune some basic fundamentals that have made bread baking at home a snap.

There are 2 other sources I’ve used to gather skills. King Arthur Flour, is all things baking. In addition to using their highly regarded flour, which is essential in good bread baking, there are online classes, step by step tutorials and a massive community of bakers, professional and amateur, to engage and ask questions, You can even order your own starter from their online store. I also read the James Beard award winning book Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. Beautifully written, the Portland baker takes you through the process in a simple way that’s easy to understand. Great Pizza dough recipes as well.

Two required items. A kitchen scale and a cast iron Dutch oven


It takes about 5 days and a 5lb bag of flour to make your own starter. Most people are intimidated by the upkeep and feeding of the starter. Trust me, I’ve gone months with the starter in a jar in the back of the refrigerator, only to follow the King Arthur instructions for reviving it, and back in business. is the link to KA’s starter school. Once your starter is ready to go, it’s about 2 1/2 days to make the bread. It doesn’t require a tremendous amount of attention, only at certain times. In the video, and, by the way, you’ll notice my video editing progression, thanks very much, I first include the footage from Lucio’s class. You’ll want to notice his folding method and insistence on a good quality bread knife. Scoring before baking is still a work in progress for me. I use a razor and try to go slighly under the surface at an angle, like Lucio said, but there’s an art to it. He also does that in the video. The second part is a pictorial of the process from feeding my old starter to completion that I voice over. About 5 minutes total.

Lucio’s Bread baking class
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Lucio’s Sourdough Bread recipe

Levain Recipe                 %                    grams

bread flour                   100                     247

water (75-85F)             75                       186

starter                            25                       62

total                               200                    495

(note – use the Kitchen scale and refer to grams)

Bread Recipe – Autolyse

Bread flour                    75                        424

Whole wheat flour       25                        141

water (76-85F)             75                         424


Levain                             87.5                     495

salt                                    2.7                        15

total                                 265.2                  1500

night before

In a good stand mixer (the KitchenAid rules) with a dough hook attachment:

Mix flour and water together until incorporated, no clumps or dry areas

Mix Levain together in a seperate bowl or container

Cover both and leave levain and autolyse dough out in a cool room (65-70F) 12 hours or overnight

Morning of Mix

Bring together autolyse and levain and salt into a cohesive, but not necessarily smooth dough

let dough rest for 4 to 5 hours at cool room temp (65-70F) until 25-35% growth

divide dough to 750 grams and round (see video)

let rest 30-60 minutes

shape in gentle but concise round and rest 2 to 3 minutes before placing into a proofing basket (note: at this point I put mine into the fridge overnight and bake the next morning. You’ll see in the video, Lucio mentioned something about overnight in the fridge gives the dough a chance to develop more flavor)

proof in the basket for 3 to 5 hours at cool room temp

preheat Dutch oven for 45 minutes at 475F (with lid on)

score and bake loaf in Dutch oven with lid closed

after 20 minutes, remove the lid and continue baking

loaf will be done baking in 30 to 40 minutes total

internal temperature will reak 210F or more (mine always read 209F for some reason..makes no difference)

let cool completely before cutting with a proper bread knife

Flour, water and salt. A little time, which I happen to know you have right now, satisfaction and a house that smells like a boulangerie in Paris. The grilled cheese I’ve made with these are epic. I hope you try this.


Have you made bread before? How’d it come out?

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