What You Should Know About Dunkin's Sourdough Bread

Ever notice how good news often doesn't seem to "count" as news? Politicians saying something and following through? Not worth stopping the presses, apparently. But politicians not doing what they say they will? Contrary to human history and experience, that is considered news. So if you're a Dunkin' hater looking for validation or you're simply not interested in good news, you can scroll right on by. Because the truth about Dunkin's sourdough is pretty wonderful (per Bake Magazine). Remarkable, even, for a chain that has expanded all over the country from its humble origins in Boston (via Boston.com). To appreciate what is so special about this Dunkin' loaf, you need to know a bit about the amazing bread that took the nation by storm during pandemic lockdown: sourdough.

True sourdough uses a spontaneously-forming type of yeast, so it was particularly suited to Covid-induced yeast shortages. To make sourdough starter (an essential component of the eponymous bread), water and flour are blended and allowed to rest until yeast forms on its own, a natural process (via King Arthur Baking). To make the bread, you utilize a portion of the starter, chock-full of its natural yeast, and go from there. You also need to keep the starter going by "feeding" it like a pet; it needs to eat more flour and water every day. This makes it a time-consuming process, best suited to people who are baking bread regularly at home.

Dunkin's sourdough is the real deal and uses 'Baby Bird' starter

The notorious hassle of maintaining a sourdough starter (per King Arthur Flour) means that it hasn't traditionally been a popular method for industrial baking. As Josh Gomes (who created Dunkin's starter) explained to Bake Magazine, "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."

So Gomes' sourdough is quite an achievement. But as impressive as it may be, it's not exactly shocking given his serious baking chops: He is one of the few to be named a "Certified Master Baker" by the Retail Bakers of America (per Dunkin'). He's also the proud father of "Baby Bird."

In case you were wondering, "Baby Bird" is what Gomes named his starter, whose eating habits — like its namesake — are voracious. It's a good thing for Gomes that he has so many colleagues who can keep that starter alive when he's busy at the oven (per Bake Magazine), because otherwise — with the number of stores Dunkin' has these days — he'd need an awful lot of coffee to keep up. But maybe that's all part of his devious master plan?