There are only a select number of people who have been named a Certified Master Baker by the Retail Bakers of America. One of those people is Dunkin’s very own Research and Development Manager, Josh Gomes, who spends a lot of his time baking up new recipes in the Dunkin’ Culinary Lab, which eventually make their way to your local restaurant. One of Gomes’ favorite creations from the past couple of years is Dunkin’s Sourdough Bread, which was born from his very own sourdough starter recipe. Keep reading to learn more about Josh and his Dunkin’ story.
How did you become a Dunkin’ R&D team member?
Before joining the Dunkin’ team, I mostly worked in restaurants, hotels, catering companies, and bakeries. When I was first hired, I was looking for a new experience as far as Research and Development goes, and I love the Dunkin’ brand. I originally worked exclusively on bagels, but that quickly transformed into all of bakery.
How did you become a Certified Master Baker?
I had to take two written tests and a day-long test making 10 different items. Once passed, candidates are then required to take a two-day test, inclusive of making 15-18 different items to be considered a CMB (Certified Master Baker). As of right now, I believe there are only about 205 CMBs in the country.
What Dunkin’ products have you worked on and helped launch?
I have worked on a wide range of exciting Dunkin’ items, including our beloved English Muffin, Stuffed Bagel Minis as well as our previously launched Biscuits, Pretzel Rolls and the Croissant Donut. In the nine years I have worked at Dunkin’, I have had the opportunity to be a part of about sixteen launches of new food items. I love that we are continuously innovating and always looking for new ways to keep our menu on-trend.
What makes Dunkin’s Sourdough bread so special?
Dunkin’s Sourdough Bread is one of the only mass-produced sourdough’s 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 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 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!
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