Wild Leaven Bakery is a small family business that began as a Taos Farmers Market vendor in 2012, then opened a retail location in Taos in 2016. In December 2021, owners Andre and Jessica Kempton opened their second location in downtown Santa Fe. Specializing in artisan sourdough bread, pastries, sweets, and soups, they proudly support local and organic farmers and producers from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Your breads use locally grown and milled heirloom grains such as White Sonora wheat. Describe the process of working with farmers to aid the resurgence of this heirloom variety. What characteristics make this wheat unique to work with as bakers?
It has been super exciting to see the resurgence of ancient and heirloom grains in the last fifteen to twenty years. For the last ten years, the bakery has been buying seeds from respected regional millers and farmers and working with New Mexico farmers to grow a few varieties of heirloom and ancient grains so we can have a steady supply to bake with. We buy flours and grains from La Villita Farms, Mountain Mama Milling, and La Montañita Co-op, among others. White Sonora wheat, which we buy from Big Wheel Farm and New Green Organics, is very desired by bakers for its buttery, nutty, and sweet flavors, and we are now baking with it in many of our breads, pastries, and cookies.