Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread

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My sourdough starter has been especially active lately. With regular feedings, it bubbles more than double it size. I love seeing it grow, and it’s a been a fun project whenever I’m stuck in the house.

With all the activity and feedings, however, I end up with a lot of discard. I don’t like to waste it, especially since flour can sometimes be tough to find.

Fortunately, I’ve found another recipe that uses sourdough discard: cinnamon raisin sourdough bread.

uncut cinnamon swirl raisin sourdough discard bread on a cutting board with bread knife and tea towel

This recipe actually uses sourdough starter in any stage, so I don’t have to worry about timing my starter and using the starter at its peak. Instead, I just pop the starter in my mixer first thing in the morning and go from there.

Just look at that swirl!

slice of cinnamon swirl raisin sourdough discard bread on cutting board

Although it takes a little practice to get the swirl just right, the recipe itself comes together easily. This recipe tastes amazing with a little butter, and it makes for fantastic toast.

My family tends to eat the loaf within minutes after it comes out of the oven, but if we ever had the patience to let it sit, I’m sure it would make amazing French toast as well.

Time

Prep time: 25 minutes
Rise time: 3-4 hours
Cook time: 40-45 minutes
Total time: Approximately 4 hours 5 minutes to 5 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

To make cinnamon raisin sourdough bread, you’ll need ingredients for both the dough and the filling.

Dough

  • 9 Grams (2 1/2 Teaspoons) Dry Active Yeast*
  • 152 Grams (2/3 Cup) Warm Water
  • 113 Grams (1/2 Cup) Sourdough Starter
  • 7 Grams (1 1/4 Teaspoons) Salt
  • 12.5 Grams (1 Tablespoon) White Granulated Sugar
  • 71 Grams (5 Tablespoons) Butter
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 361 Grams (2 1/2 Cups to 3 cups) All-Purpose Flour

*You can also use instant yeast and skip the proofing process.

Filling

  • 4 Grams (1 1/2 Teaspoons)┬áCinnamon
  • 50 Grams (1/4 Cup) White Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Grams (2 Teaspoons) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Large Egg, Beaten with 1 Tablespoon Water
  • 74 Grams (1/2 Cup) Raisins*

If you’re not a fan of raisins, you can skip them entirely if you wish. Or you can swap them for dried cranberries or blueberries.

Additional Equipment

Make sure you have these tools on hand before you start baking:

*You can mix the dough by hand if you wish. It just takes a little longer to knead everything together.

Instructions

Cinnamon raisin sourdough bread is a great way to use your sourdough starter. You can use your starter at any almost any stage – ripe, fed, or discard. The starter adds a tangy flavor, but the dry active yeast does the heavy lifting during the proofing process.

But to make sure your yeast does its job properly, you’ll need to give it some time to work. Start by stirring the dry active yeast into the warm water and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Yeast and water in kitchenaid mixer

Once your yeast looks puffy and foamy, feel free to add the sourdough starter. Stir them together and let them sit for another 10 to 15 minutes.

sourdough discard with yeast and water in kitchenaid mixer

Next, add the remaining dough ingredients: salt, sugar, egg, butter, and all-purpose flour. Mix together until a smooth dough forms. Keep in mind that you might need less or more flour depending on the consistency of your sourdough starter. On average, I only need about 2 1/2 cups flour for this recipe, but you might need as much as 3 if your starter is especially runny.

Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few times. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.

cinnamon raisin sourdough bread dough ball

While your dough rises, mix together the ingredients for your filling: the cinnamon, sugar, and flour. Set aside until ready.

bowl of cinnamon sugar

Once your dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly greased surface. Punch out the air a little and knead it a few times.

cinnamon raisin sourdough bread dough ball rising in glass bowl

Roll and shape your dough into a long rectangle. Although it doesn’t have to be perfect, you’ll want to aim for a 5″ by 20″ rectangle. Try to keep the width of your rectangle smaller than the width of your bread pan. It will make rolling your loaf much easier.

flattened cinnamon raisin sourdough bread dough next to rolling pin

Next, beat the egg with the water in a small bowl. Brush or drizzle the egg mixture over the dough. You don’t have to use all the egg mixture – just enough to moisten the dough and give the cinnamon sugar mixture something to cling to. Then sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar filling and top with raisins.

Keep in mind that you will have an easier time sealing your dough if you leave one of the short ends bare by about an inch.

cinnamon raisin sourdough bread with filling next to rolling pin

Starting with the short end of the rectangle (with filling), roll your dough into a log shape. Pinch each of the ends to seal it and pinch the long seam closed.

cinnamon swirl raisin sourdough discard bread dough in pan

Place the bread dough seam side down in a lightly greased 9″ by 5″ bread pan. Cover the bread and let it sit until it has risen about 1″ over the edge of the pan, about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

cinnamon swirl raisin sourdough discard bread dough in pan

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, then loosely tent the bread with aluminum foil. Continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes. The dough should have a beautiful golden crust. If you have a digital thermometer, the internal temperature should read 190 degrees Fahrenheit (87 degrees Celsius).

Use a butter knife or similar utensil to gently loosen the edges of the bread. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool. Brush the crust with butter to give it a richer color and a softer crust.

cinnamon swirl raisin sourdough bread cooling on wire rack

Let the bread cool completely before slicing and serving.

uncut cinnamon swirl raisin sourdough discard bread on a cutting board with bread knife and tea towel

Enjoy!

I loved smothering each slice in honey butter, though my husband recommends sprinkling extra cinnamon sugar on each slice as well.

Secrets to Success

Cinnamon raisin bread dough is easy to make but a little difficult to master. If you don’t care about presentation, you can make this bread with no hassle or fuss.

However, I personally struggled with rolling and shaping my bread. The first time I made it, I ended up dumping the whole egg and water mixture onto the dough. The extra filling made the dough especially slick and goopy, and when I rolled it, I had a hard time keeping everything together.

I also tried to roll the dough too tightly, and it flattened and stretched as a went. By the time I finished rolling, the log was too wide to fit in my bread pan. I had to pinch the edges and roll them under, but that made the edges extra thick and lumpy.

Lumpy cinnamon raisin sourdough bread in pan

Although the first loaf still tasted amazing, the swirls were a little bit weird looking because of the way I had folded the bread under itself.

First lumpy loaf of cinnamon raisin sourdough bread on a cooling rack

If you want picture perfect cinnamon raisin sourdough bread, you may have to practice your rolling technique a few times. You want to roll it just tight enough that it stays together, but not so tight that it squishes your dough out lengthwise.

Nutritional Information

Cinnamon raisin sourdough bread tastes like a dessert, but it’s much more calorie friendly than you might think.

Cinnamon raisin sourdough bread nutrition information

Keep in mind that I cut my slices fairly thick, about 10 slices per loaf (on average). The nutritional information per slice might vary depending on how thick or thin you cut your loaf. Similarly, you could save a few calories by ditching the raisins or by using less cinnamon sugar in your filling.

Did You Try It?

I had a lot of fun making this recipe, and I had even more fun eating it with my family. I’d love to know what you think about this recipe – did you try it? Did you have an easier time rolling and shaping the dough than I did?

Feel free to comment below!