Sergio’s Bakery & Cafe

Sergio's Bakery and Cafe is a time capsule of a bakery where pizza is served with a perfect timer, meatballs are a family heirloom, and the pastries will have you coming back for more, even when you're full.


Mark Stens Land

10/29/20224 min read

"Hot from the Oven: Sergio's Bakery and Cafe's Pizza Philosophy"

In a world where the convenience of takeout often trumps quality, Sergio's Bakery and Cafe stands as a beacon of hope for those who believe pizza is best served scorching hot, with cheese that stretches like a bridge from plate to mouth. Sergio DeBari, who took the helm from his father in 2013, runs the kind of place where the ovens are always roaring and the pies come out with the punctuality of an atomic clock.

Sergio's secret? Timing is everything. He's not one to let a pizza languish in a box, losing its zest. No, he insists on a handoff so seamless the pie barely knows it's left the oven. That's the level of hot, melty perfection we're talking about—a pie that's practically still bubbling with enthusiasm as you carry it out the door.

Step into Sergio's and you're stepping back in time to an old-school bakery where the walls are adorned with vintage bread vans—a nod to a simpler era. But the charm doesn't stop at decor. Sergio's mom is the meatball maestro behind their sought-after meatball subs. It's a family affair where recipes and traditions are handed down like precious heirlooms.

The star of the show? The 'Quad'. It's not a workout; it's a pizza that's doubling down on pepperoni with a kick of green chile that'll have you seeing double—in the best possible way. And while you're there, don't miss the chance to jazz up your pie with some prosciutto, or indulge in a pastry side quest—the cheese danish, the cupcakes, the donut array, and the fruit tarts are the stuff of local legend.

Making Different Preferments for Pizza Dough with New Mexican Ingredients

Preferments are dough starters that give your pizza dough extra flavor and texture. Here are three types of preferments you can make: Poolish, Biga, and Levain. Each has its unique characteristics and will be integrated with New Mexican ingredients for a flavorful twist.

1. Poolish


- 1 cup all-purpose flour

- 1 cup water (room temperature)

- 1/8 tsp active dry yeast

- 2 tbsp roasted and finely chopped green chiles


1. Mix the flour, water, yeast, and chopped green chiles in a bowl until well combined.

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12-16 hours, or until it’s bubbly and has doubled in size.

2. Biga


- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 cup water (room temperature)

- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

- 1 tbsp red chile powder


1. Mix the flour, water, yeast, and red chile powder in a bowl until a rough dough forms.

2. Knead briefly until smooth.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-16 hours, or until it’s risen and has a strong aroma.

3. Levain


- 1/2 cup sourdough starter (active and bubbly)

- 1 cup all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup water (room temperature)

- 1 tbsp blue cornmeal


1. Mix the sourdough starter, flour, water, and blue cornmeal in a bowl until well combined.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours, or until it’s bubbly and has doubled in size.

## Making Pizza Dough with the Preferments


- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 1/2 cups water (room temperature)

- 2 tsp salt

- 2 tbsp olive oil

- 1 cup preferment (Poolish, Biga, or Levain)

- Additional New Mexican ingredients for topping (e.g., roasted green chiles, red chile flakes, blue corn, etc.)


1. Mix the Dough:

- In a large bowl, mix the flour, water, salt, olive oil, and your chosen preferment (Poolish, Biga, or Levain) until a rough dough forms.

2. Knead the Dough:

- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.

3. First Rise:

- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth, and let it rise at room temperature for about 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

4. Shape the Dough:

- Punch down the dough to release the gas. Divide it into 2-3 equal portions, depending on the size of pizzas you want to make.

- Shape each portion into a ball and let them rest for 15-20 minutes.

5. Preheat the Oven:

- Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C). If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven to heat up.

6. Roll Out the Dough:

- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a thin circle or your desired shape. Transfer the rolled-out dough onto a piece of parchment paper for easy handling.

7. Top Your Pizza:

- Brush the dough with olive oil and spread a thin layer of your favorite pizza sauce.

- Add New Mexican-inspired toppings, such as roasted green chiles, blue corn, shredded cheese, red chile flakes, and any other preferred ingredients.

8. Bake the Pizza:

- Carefully transfer the pizza (with parchment paper) onto the preheated pizza stone or baking sheet.

- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

9. Serve:

- Remove the pizza from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, and slice it up. Enjoy your delicious New Mexican-inspired pizza!


- Experiment with different ratios of flour and water in your preferments to find the texture you prefer.

- Adjust the amount of yeast based on your room temperature and desired fermentation time.

- Use high-quality New Mexican ingredients to enhance the flavor of your pizza.

Enjoy making and eating your New Mexican-style pizza with these flavorful preferments!