Josh Gomes is one of only a select number of people in the country who have been named a Certified Master Baker by the Retail Bakers of America (RBA). Gomes is also the Research and Development Manager for Dunkin’, working on recipes in the Dunkin’ Culinary Lab which eventually make their way to Dunkin’ restaurants.

One of those recipes is Dunkin’s Sourdough Bread, which came from his very own sourdough starter recipe. Gomes recently shared his story of how this recipe was developed.

What is the story behind Dunkin’s Sourdough starter?

I created my sourdough starter in November of 2012, and it’s still going strong! Sourdough starters are a mixture of flour and water that naturally collect yeast and bacteria, which raises and flavors the bread. To keep it ‘alive’ you need to feed it flour, water and left-over starter. Traditionally, you are supposed to name your sourdough starter – I named mine “Baby Bird” because it truly needed to be fed like a baby bird. I kept this starter in the Dunkin’ Culinary Lab, and when I would travel for work, I asked other members of the team to keep Baby Bird alive for me.

What makes Dunkin’s Sourdough bread so special?

Dunkin’s Sourdough Bread is one of the only mass-produced sourdoughs that uses a “true” sourdough starter. Many other companies that make sourdough bread on a large-scale use either a powdered substance as a base or use sourdough flavoring to flavor their bread. We used the sourdough starter I created as inspiration for the sourdough starter in Dunkin’s Sourdough Bread. Our Sourdough has a mid-range sour taste for the perfect tang that pairs well with the other ingredients we use, including those within our new Avocado Toast and Grilled Cheese Melts.

What are some tips for someone who wants to create their own sourdough starter?

Be patient! Sourdough is not just for bread anymore. It can be added to so many things, so have fun with it. DON’T forget to name it!