The best sourdough bread we’ve had in years didn’t come from San Francisco, New York, or Sydney. It was pulled from the oven by Andre Kempton, an under-the-radar wheat whisperer in Taos, New Mexico. Kempton spent five years upping his heritage-grain game alongside beloved Sante Fe baker Willem Malten (see: Cloud Cliff Bakery). Now the proud but elusive owner of Wild Leaven Bakery, Kempton grinds and mixes all of his own locally sourced, sprouted, and stone-milled ingredients by hand and sells his bread by the pound in the modest Yucca Plaza shopping center. Loaves cost as much as $15 a piece, which sounds like highway robbery—until you taste it. Dense, chewy, nutty, crunchy, sour, revelatory—this bread covers every base.
Note: Wild Leaven’s hours are as mercurial as the man who runs it, so call ahead before schlepping over. Or, try your luck at the Taos Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, where Kempton and his gluten have been known to make appearances.
216 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM; 760-828-0764.