Wild Flour Bakery & Café

April 2, 2012

Dolly Mertens serving customers at the South Shore Farmers Market.

1. How is sourdough bread different from breads made with commercial yeast?

Sourdough is sour and tangy made from natural yeast. A small piece of the sour (yeast) is added to the ingredients as the dough is being mixed. Natural yeast is a slower-rising yeast than commercial yeast; it is a 48-hour process from the time we start mixing the dough to selling the finished bread: Before we bake, the dough rises, cools, and is proofed.

2. How did you get interested in sourdough bread?

I have always liked the different taste, texture, smell of these breads. A natural sourdough bread just adds so much to meal.

3. How did you learn how to make sourdough bread? 

Practice, reading, more practice. Also, I helped to bake with my mother when I was a young girl.

4. Who makes your food and soups at the café and bakery in Bay View?

We have many trained employees who do the food prep, and much of the food is made to order when the customer places the order, so it is always nice and fresh and tasty.

5. What are some of your most popular baked goods?

Breads and cookies, muffins, and all our sweets.

6. Do you serve lunch at the Bay View café? Can customers get take out there?

Yes, we do. We also have breakfast sandwiches made on our breads and buns. Many customers call their order in so they can pick up and go.

7. How many locations do you have? Where are they?

We are a family-owned and operated business. We have four locations—Bay View; 28th Street and Lincoln Avenue; Grand Avenue Mall; and South Milwaukee. In addition, we sell our products at many grocery stores.

8. Do you cater? If so, what kinds of items do you provide?

We do light casual catering, sandwiches
and salads.

9. How has your business changed over time?

We started out only making breads, but our customers asked for sandwiches for take-out. We began making sandwiches and soon, soup and salad. And then they wanted sweets too so we added those.

10. How has Bay View changed since you opened Wild Flour?

I was able to be involved in the start of the South Shore Farmers Market. It has developed into one of the nicest events in the city. It is a very happy time and it crosses all barriers—people of all ages attend. It brings people into the community from everywhere. It is a delightful event and helps my spirit!!

Wild Flour Bakery & Café
Established 1996
Bay View Store opened 2003

Owners Dolly, Greg, and Josh Mertens
422 E. Lincoln Ave.
414-727-8145 (Bay View)
Wildflour.net   dolly@wildflour.net

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