There's something undeniably captivating about the alchemy of baking bread at home, and today we’re taking it up a notch with my Sourdough Cinnamon Bread with Raisins. This rustic, breakfast-y loaf is a fun and flavorful twist on basic sourdough. It also happens to be the best cinnamon raisin bread recipe around!
This delightful recipe is not just your ordinary cinnamon-swirled breakfast bread; it's a simple yet extraordinary twist on my classic Dutch oven sourdough, combining fragrant cinnamon with the nostalgic burst of raisin-y goodness.
Combined with the delightful sweetness of plump, juicy raisins, a toasted slice of this naturally vegan cinnamon raisin bread is the perfect breakfast — especially when adorned with a swipe of whipped butter or homemade nut butter, or turned into a stunning rendition of French toast. Add a pumpkin-flavored coffee to the mix, and you’ve basically turned your house into a fancy 5-star brunch spot.
Apart from smelling and tasting like an absolute dream, my homemade cinnamon raisin bread is a better-for-you choice compared to most store-bought loaves. Since it is made with just six simple ingredients (and zero added sugar, artificial ingredients, or preservatives!), you can relish each bite knowing that it's delicious, wholesome, and nourishing.
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Today, I'm thrilled to share a truly exceptional creation with you — my cinnamon raisin sourdough bread recipe. Close your eyes and imagine your kitchen filled with the warm, comforting aroma of freshly baked bread infused with the tantalizing scent of spicy cinnamon.
Honestly, this Dutch oven cinnamon raisin bread recipe is the best fall-inspired room freshening scent you could hope for! Too bad I can’t figure out how to bottle it. 🤔
But aside from making your house smell like a craft store during the back-to-school rush (isn’t that the BEST smell?!?), this sourdough raisin bread recipe is also:
- Made With Only 6 Simple Ingredients - Plus, the natural fermentation process makes it easier for your body to digest.
- Perfect For Breakfast & Brunch - If you’re someone who needs a delicious reason to pry yourself out of bed on the weekends, this homemade raisin cinnamon sourdough is a delightful contender.
- A Fun New Bread-Baking Challenge! Learning how to incorporate heavy inclusions like soaked raisins is a great way to add another feather to your sourdough bread-making cap.
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this sourdough cinnamon raisin bread. Here’s what to grab:
- Active Sourdough Starter - If you don't have a starter yet, you’ll need to pause your sourdough baking plans for a few days. (In the meantime, try making a yeasted loaf like my banana bread.) You can make your own using just flour and water, or if you're in a rush, grab some pre-made starter online or at specialty stores.
- Water - If possible, go for filtered water. Your sourdough will turn out even tastier, and who doesn't love that?
- Bread Flour - Sure, you can use all-purpose flour if that's all you have, but I highly recommend giving higher-protein bread flour a shot. It's the secret to a better structure and a fantastic loaf.
- Salt - I'm a fan of regular kosher salt for pretty much everything in the kitchen, but sea salt will do the trick too. Just a heads up, though: stay away from iodized table salt. It can leave your sourdough with a bitter vibe.
- Raisins - Feel free to use regular brown raisins or swap in golden sultanas if you prefer. You can also experiment with dried cranberries if you like!
- Cinnamon - Trust me: you haven't lived until you've tried the magic of cinnamon sourdough. Try and opt for a fresh batch (no older than 6 months) from a high-quality brand (e.g. Burlap & Barrel) for the most potent flavor.
- Rice Flour - You'll want rice flour for dusting your banneton because it's gluten-free, unlike our lovely cinnamon raisin sourdough.
- Neutral Oil - Use just enough neutral oil in your bowl to get that slick surface for the bulk rise (before shaping).
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
- Extra Rustic - Take a page from my overnight rustic sourdough recipe and add a dose of whole grain goodness. Feel free to use up to 20% whole wheat flour by weight for added fiber, plus an irresistible nutty flavor undertone.
- Flavored Raisins - If you love rum raisin ice cream, consider swapping in some warm rum for rehydrating your raisins. You can also use sweet orange juice (and add a few rasps of freshly grated orange zest to the dough!) if you prefer.
- Change the Shape - Make your cinnamon raisin sourdough slices a bit more evenly-sized by elongating it into an oblong batard instead of a round boulé.
- Add Nuts - If you want a little extra crunch to contrast with the chewy raisins, consider folding in toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
📖 Step by Step Instructions
If you're a visual learner like I am, I've added a recipe video that goes through the entire process of making sourdough bread in the recipe card to accompany the following directions. Let's get started!
Mixing and Folding the Sourdough Dough
Step 1: Make Levain. Mix active starter and water together before adding bread flour and mix until homogenous approximately 12 hours before you start the process of making your sourdough loaf. Place in a covered container at room temperature.
Step 2: Autolyse. Mix your levain and warm water together until combined in a large bowl. Then mix in the bread flour until little to no clumps remain with a spatula, wooden spoon or your hands and cover with a tea towel, plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel for 45 minutes.
Step 3: Add Salt. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to your dough mixture and mix with a spatula or your hands until the salt granules have dissolved completely into the dough. Place in a bowl greased with one tablespoon of olive oil, cover, and set aside to rest for another 45 minutes.
Step 4: Folding The Dough. Gently stretch the dough in an upwards motion before placing back onto itself - do this four times every 30 minutes rotating around the dough as you do so. Before adding the raisins on the 3rd fold, hydrate the raisins with hot water for 30 minutes Once you’ve folded the dough 4 separate times, let the dough rest for 45 minutes before continuing.
Step 5: Pre-Shape. Shape the bread into a boule or circle by turning it out onto a work surface or wooden cutting board greased with a touch of olive oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and gently stretch 6 sides of the dough into the center to create a circular shape. As the dough rises, air bubbles have formed due to fermentation - stretch gently so we don't deflate the dough. Then, place the dough upside down and drag the dough gently while creating friction towards yourself about ten times. Allow the dough to rest, covered by a towel for 30 minutes before continuing.
Step 6: Final Shape. Once again, follow the instructions above to build surface tension on the top of the bread before placing the dough seam side up into a banneton dusted with rice flour for best results. Place in the fridge for an overnight rest and the final rise.
Scoring and Baking your Sourdough Loaf
Step 7: Preheat. The next day or next morning, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with your dutch oven placed inside while preheating - turn on your timer for 45 minutes. After turning on your oven, remove your sourdough from the fridge.
Step 8: Score. Grab a piece of parchment paper larger than the diameter of the dough and flip the cold dough onto the parchment paper. Using a lame, razor blade sharp knife or kitchen shears, score the top of the cinnamon raisin loaf from top to bottom.
Step 9: Bake. Once your 45-minute timer has gone off, place the loaf into your preheated Dutch oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until you start to see a hint of browning on the edges and top of your loaf. Once the top starts to brown, you can remove the dutch oven lid completely. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the loaf of bread is a rich, dark golden brown with a crispy crust formation.
PRO TIP: Be careful not to burn yourself or drop in your sourdough! The parchment paper is your friend here - use the parchment paper as grips to gently lower the loaf into the dutch oven and place the lid on top.
Step 10: Remove Loaf & Cool. Remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully remove the sourdough from within - I usually use a small spatula to coax one side of the bread from the bottom of the dutch oven, allowing me to remove the hot sourdough loaf and place it on a cooling rack for a minimum of 1 hour.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips/Expert baking tips
Raisins are already a considerably heavier sourdough addition than we’ve played with before. Soaking them will make them extra heavy (and also gloriously juicy-tasting). As such, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your dough will take longer to rise. This is perfectly normal and completely worth the wait. Patience is a virtue, people!
- Use your hands and baker’s intuition to know when it’s ready. An indent made with your knuckle should slowly return to shape when your raisin cinnamon sourdough is done rising.
- Choose a smart scoring pattern. Once you shape your cinnamon raisin boulé, the top will be studded with juicy raisins. Opt for a simple scoring pattern that avoids any fruity run-ins with your lame.
- Optimizing Ingredient Quality: Elevate the taste of your cinnamon raisin artisan sourdough bread by sourcing high-quality ingredients. Using fresh sourdough discard from an active sourdough starter is key. Pair it with warm water to activate the wild yeast effectively.
- Storage and Next-Day Freshness: After letting your delicious bread cool on a cooling rack, it's essential to store it properly to maintain its freshness. Wrapping your cinnamon sourdough loaf tightly in plastic wrap or placing it in a plastic bag will keep it moist.
💭 Recipe FAQs
This tasty loaf needs no adornments, but it’s lovely served with butter, nut butter, homemade nutella, or fruit preserves. It’s also delightful dipped in a simple egg-and-milk custard and pan-fried to golden perfection.
Just like you would store any other homemade sourdough.
Achieving a soft crumb often depends on the dough rise and fermentation time. Allow your dough to undergo a proper bulk fermentation in a warm place, covered with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Using wild yeast from sourdough discard as opposed to commercial yeast might require a longer rise time. The windowpane test is a great way to ensure your dough has developed enough strength and elasticity!
Achieving a thinner crust can be managed by adjusting the baking temperature and moisture levels. Firstly, ensure you're baking the bread at the recommended oven temperature. Introducing steam in the beginning stages of baking can help.
This can be done by placing a tray with hot water at the bottom of the oven or periodically spraying water inside the oven with a spray bottle. Once the loaf is golden brown, allow the bread to cool on a wire rack rather than in the pan. This will prevent the crust from continuing to bake and harden from the residual heat.
More Sourdough Recipes You’ll Love
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Sourdough Cinnamon Bread with Raisins
- 20 g (1 Heaping Tablespoon) Sourdough Starter, 100% hydration, float test before using
- 80 g (⅓ cup) Water
- 80 g (⅔ cup) Bread Flour
- 100 g (½ cup) Levain
- 360 g (1 ½ cups) Water, 70 degrees F ideally
- 500 g (4 cups) Bread Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 150 g (¾ cup) Raisins
- 1.5 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
- Olive oil - for greasing bowl
- 3 Tablespoons Rice flour - for dusting banneton
- Make sure to do a float test - It’s the best way to tell if your starter is fresh. Simply pinch off about 1 tablespoon of your starter and place it in a glass of water. If it floats, you're in business!
- Mix starter (20g) and water (80g) together before adding bread flour (80g) and mix until homogenous approximately 12 hours before you start the process of making your Sourdough loaf. Place in a covered container at room temperature.20 g Sourdough Starter, 80 g Water, 80 g Bread Flour
- Mix your levain and water together until combined. Then mix in the bread flour until little to no clumps remain with a spatula or your hands and cover for 45 minutes. This is called the autolyse - hydrating your flour prior to moving on to the next step.100 g Levain, 360 g Water, 500 g Bread Flour
- *When making sourdough it’s helpful to have a little bowl of water nearby - dipping your hands in water prior to working with the wet, sticky dough will help immensely!
- Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt to your dough and mix with a spatula or your hands until the salt granules have dissolved completely into the dough. Place in a bowl greased with one tablespoon of olive oil, cover, and set aside to rest for another 45 minutes.2 Teaspoons Salt, Olive oil - for greasing bowl
- Time to start folding the dough - every 30 minutes for the next two hours fold your dough as shown in the video below. Gently stretch the dough in an upwards motion before placing back onto itself - do this four times every 30 minutes rotating around the dough as you do so. After the 2nd fold, add your raisins into a small bowl and cover with hot water for the next 30 minutes Before the 3rd fold, add in your strained & soaked raisins to the dough and sprinkle in your cinnamon. Fold as usual with the additional ingredients.150 g Raisins, 1.5 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
- Once you’ve folded the dough 4 separate times, allow it to rest for 45 minutes before continuing.
- Pre-shape - Shape the bread into a boule or circle by turning it out onto a wooden cutting board greased with a touch of olive oil. Gently stretch 6 sides of the dough into the center to create a circular shape. Then, flip the ball of dough upside down and drag the dough gently while creating friction towards yourself about ten times. This process is show in detail within the video below. Allow the dough to rest, covered by a towel for 30 minutes before continuing.
- Final Shape - Once again, follow the instructions above before placing the dough seam side up into a banneton dusted with rice flour.3 Tablespoons Rice flour - for dusting banneton
- The next morning, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with your dutch oven placed inside while preheating - turn on your timer for 45 minutes. After turning on your oven, remove your sourdough from the fridge. Grab a piece of parchment paper larger than the diameter of the dough and flip the cold dough onto the parchment paper. Using a lame or a razor blade, score the bread one ⅓ of the loaf from top to bottom. See the video below for an example! Once your 45 minute timer has gone off, place the loaf into your preheated dutch oven. Be careful not to burn yourself or drop in your sourdough! The parchment paper is your friend here - use the parchment paper as grips to gently lower the loaf into the dutch oven and place the lid on top.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until you start to see a hint of browning on the edges and top of your loaf. Once you see the top start to brown, you can remove the lid completely. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the bread is a rich, dark golden brown.
- Remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully remove the sourdough from within - I usually use a small spatula to coax one side of the bread from the bottom of the dutch oven, allowing me to remove the hot sourdough loaf and place it on a cooling rack.
- It will be very challenging to wait before cutting into the loaf, but I promise you it’s worth it! Cutting into your bread when it is too hot could ruin it’s structure - I usually wait an hour at the very least before diving in unless you don’t mind cutting in early.
- Where can I get sourdough starter? You can easily make your own using flour and water, or you can buy it online or from specialty stores. If you have any friends who like to make bread, I’d also bet they have some they’d happily gift you!
- How long does homemade sourdough bread last? If you keep it in an airtight container on the counter, it should last for 3-4 days. However, if you want it to last longer, I suggest slicing it, placing it in a plastic bag, and freezing for up to a month. Whenever a bread craving strikes, just grab a slice!
- What is the best flour for sourdough bread? I prefer bread flour, which has a higher protein content than regular all-purpose flour. More protein means more gluten, which in turn means a better structure for the bread to be crusty on the outside and irregularly crumbed on the inside. YUM!
- What is the best size dutch oven for baking bread? I suggest reaching for one that is no smaller than 4 quarts and no larger than 7 quarts.