sourdough cinnamon raisin bread
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If you’re a fan of cinnamon raisin bread, you’ll have to try this homemade sourdough version. It’s soft and cinnamon-swirled with all the flavor and benefits of a long ferment. Serve it soft and warm, toasted and buttered, or whipped up into some French toast.

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sourdough cinnamon raisin bread Pinterest image

My kids’ eyes light up when I tell them we’re having cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast!

This bread is nice and soft with the slightest bit of chewiness. The texture contrasts nicely with a swirl of cinnamon sugar and raisins.

I soak the raisins in water and vanilla extract ahead of time to make them plump and flavorful before pressing them into the dough.

The sourdough starter adds a complex flavor to the loaf as well, but without sourness.

The cinnamon sugar swirl stays in place thanks to the addition of flour and egg wash. The crust bakes up to a lovely golden brown and is brushed with melted butter out of the oven for shine and softness.

You’ll find a printable recipe card at the end of this post. The recipe can easily be doubled to make two loaves at once, and since it freezes so well, why not?

When you’re finished here, you may also want to visit these posts for Homemade Sourdough Croissants, Sourdough Danish Pastries, and Soft Sourdough Potato Rolls.

an up-close view of the cinnamon sugar swirl

Why refrigerate the dough overnight?

As with many of my sourdough recipes, I do part of the bulk ferment at room temperature to give the dough a head start. Then I finish with a long stretch in the refrigerator.

I do this for multiple reasons. I like how easily I can work the sourdough-baking process around my schedule. The dough needs at least 12 hours in the fridge, but I can let the dough go up to three days.

I find the gluten development in the bread is better, the flavor is more complex yet less sour, the crust is thinner, and the dough is cold for easier shaping.

If you’re short on time, though, you can do the entire bulk ferment at room temperature. You can start the dough in the morning and shape it about 8 hours later. Proof and bake, and you can be done in the same day.

a cutting board with sliced sourdough cinnamon raisin bread next to a place with a slice toasted and buttered

Equipment Needed

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread on a cutting board, up close

How to Make Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Step 1 – Mix the Dough

I recommend you weigh the dough ingredients for consistency, but I’ve included cup measurements as well.

We’ll start by adding the active starter, whole milk, beaten egg, sugar, salt, softened butter, and 2 3/4 cups (374g) of bread flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together.

dough after the ingredients come together, before kneading

If the dough is still sticking to the bottom and sides of the bowl, you can add an additional 1/8 cup (17g) flour. Keep in mind the dough should be quite tacky. It will become less sticky after kneading.

Knead the dough on low speed for 8-10 minutes until it’s very smooth and passes the windowpane test. This means if you stretch it gently with wet fingers, you can stretch it far enough to see light through it before it tears. The gluten in the dough is well developed at this point.

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread dough after kneading
stretching the dough to see if it passes the windowpane test

Step 2 – Ferment the Dough

Form your dough into a smooth ball and place it in a lightly oiled, lidded bowl.

Prop the lid on so air can still escape without the dough drying out. Allow your dough to ferment at room temperature for 4 hours.

I like to ferment in my oven with the light on, though I’ll have to eventually have to crack the oven door so it doesn’t get too warm in there. 75-80°F is ideal.

dough after forming into a ball and placing in a bowl
propping the lid over the bowl of dough

After the 4 hours is up, place your lid on securely and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. You can go a day or two extra, before shaping and baking, if you would like.

At this point, the dough should have risen considerably.

(Alternately, ferment for 8 hours at room temperature, or until the dough has doubled in size. Shape, proof, and bake as normal.)

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread dough filling the bowl after fermentation

Step 3 – Soak Raisins and Make Filling

About an hour before you intend to bake your sourdough cinnamon raisin bread, put your raisins in a small bowl and stir in your vanilla extract and water. Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together your brown sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of four, and salt. Set this aside as well.

Step 4 – Shape the Loaf

Remove your dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Press it flat to degas it and form it into the shape of a rectangle with your hands.

Use a rolling pin to roll it to a 22×6-inch rectangle, making sure it isn’t sticking to your counter underneath.

dough after rolling to a 22x6-inch rectangle

Whisk together your egg and water to make an egg wash, and brush a layer over the entire surface of your dough.

Sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the egg wash. Use your hands to spread it evenly over the surface of the dough.

Distribute the soaked raisins evenly on the surface (avoid pouring any leftover liquid from the raisins on the dough) and press them into the dough with your hands.

pressing soaked raisins into the dough

Starting from a short side of the rectangle, begin rolling the dough into a log. Roll tightly, stretching the dough slightly as you go, and make sure the edges line up.

rolling the cinnamon sugared dough into a loaf

Pinch the seam and the ends together, and place the loaf seam-side down in a buttered 9×5-inch nonstick loaf pan.

pinching the seam of the loaf closed
pinching the ends of the loaf closed
unbaked loaf after placing seam-side down in a loaf pan

Step 5 – Proof, Bake, and Brush Loaf with Melted Butter

Cover your loaf with a tea towel and set it in a warm place to proof until it has filled the pan and passes the poke test. (Wet a finger and poke the loaf. If the indent bounces back only slightly, you’re ready to bake.)

loaf after proofing when it fills the loaf pan

Bake in a 350°F oven on the center rack for 20 minutes, then tent the top of the loaf with a piece of foil and bake for 15-20 more minutes until the top is golden.

After it’s done baking, gently run a table knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the loaf. Remove the loaf and place it on a cooling rack.

Use a pastry brush to coat the crust with the melted butter for a soft exterior. Allow the loaf to finish cooling before you slice into it or store it.

two slices of sourdough cinnamon raisin bread with a table knife and a pat of butter

How to Store Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread

This bread will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for at least 3 days. As I mentioned before, you can easily freeze an entire loaf, or freeze the loaf sliced. Simply microwave the frozen bread until it is just thawed.

If you make this recipe and love it, I would greatly appreciate if you would come back to leave 5 stars and a review! Tag me on Instagram @aberlehome to show me what you made!

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 18 hours
Total Time: 19 hours 10 minutes

If you're a fan of cinnamon raisin bread, you'll have to try this homemade sourdough version. Soft and cinnamon-swirled with the flavor and benefits of a long ferment. Serve it soft and warm, toasted and buttered, or made into French toast.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup (196g) active sourdough starter, 100% hydration
  • 1/2 cup (123g) whole milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups (374g) bread flour, plus more as needed

Filling

  • 3/4 cup (109g) raisins (not packed)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) water
  • 1/4 cup (55g) packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons water

For Outside of Loaf After Baking

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Add active sourdough starter, whole milk, beaten egg, sugar, salt, softened butter, and 2 3/4 cups (374g) of bread flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix until the dough comes together. Add an additional 1/8 cup (17g) flour if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  2. Knead for 8-10 minutes on low speed until the dough passes the windowpane test. Form into a smooth ball and place into a lightly oiled, lidded bowl.
  3. Prop the lid on to keep the dough from drying out and set in a warm place (75-80°F) to ferment for 4 hours. Then place the lid on securely and refrigerate for 12 hours (or up to 3 days).*
  4. On baking day, an hour before forming your loaf, mix the raisins with the vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons water. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt, and set this aside as well.
  5. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a 22x6-inch rectangle. Whisk together your egg and 2 teaspoons water to make an egg wash. Brush over the entire surface of your dough. Sprinkle on the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture and distribute it evenly with your hands. Sprinkle on the raisins (avoid any extra liquid from the bowl) and distribute them evenly over the surface. Press them down into the dough with your hands.
  6. Starting from a short side of the rectangle, begin rolling your dough into a log. Roll tightly, stretching slightly as you go, and try to keep the side edges straight. Pinch the seam and the ends of the log closed. Place the loaf seam-side down in a buttered 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  7. Cover loaf with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to proof until the loaf fills the pan and springs back only slightly when poked with a wet finger.
  8. Bake in a 350°F oven on the center rack for 20 minutes, then tent the top of the loaf with foil and bake for 20 more minutes.
  9. Run a table knife around the edges of the loaf to loosen it from the pan. Remove loaf to a cooling rack and brush the exterior with the melted butter. Allow to cool completely before slicing or storing.

Notes

*Alternately, ferment at room temperature for 8 hours (or until the dough has doubled in size). Shape, proof, and bake as normal.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 7g

*Nutrition information is not always accurate.