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Slice of Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Butter

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread {with vanilla-soaked raisins!}

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  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Sourdough Sandwich Bread
  • Method: One-Bowl
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A twist on a classic, this soft sourdough cinnamon raisin bread recipe gets a noteworthy upgrade with tangy sourdough and vanilla soaked raisins. We love it toasted with cream cheese or melted butter and it makes great french toast!



  • 500 g (4 cups) bread flour
  • 85 g (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
  • 24 g (2 tbsp.) sugar
  • 9 g fine sea salt
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter (100% hydration)*
  • 240 g  (1 cup) warm water
  • 85 g (1/2 cup) raisins
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 egg + a splash of water, lightly beat (egg wash)**

Cinnamon-Sugar Swirl 

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. flour

Notes & Substitutions

*For an even faster rise, use 150 g sourdough starter + 230 g warm water and keep the rest of the quantities the same.

**Water can be used instead of an egg wash to brush the dough.


Baking Schedule: this is an overnight dough which takes approximately 8-12 hrs to rise @ 68 F. Start the night before, in the evening, and plan to bake the following day. Alternatively, if you’re making this in the summer and it’s warmer than 68 F, the dough will take less time to rise, about 4-6 hrs @ 80+ F. Instead of the overnight option (which might lead to over proofed dough), let it rise during the day to bake later in the afternoon or evening.

Mix the Dough

Add the flour, butter, sugar and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine on low speed until the butter looks like crumbs. Add the starter and warm water. Mix until the flour is fully absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in the vanilla extract. Drain and squeeze dry in a paper towel before using. 

After the dough has rested, add the raisins to the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low (#3 on a KitchenAid) for 6-8 minutes. The dough will feel soft and supple when ready. If it’s sticky, add a little bit of flour.

Note: In lieu of using a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand without the raisins for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover and rest for 1 hour. Add the raisins during your first stretch and fold; they will be much easier to incorporate at this stage.

Bulk Rise with Stretch & Folds

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise overnight at room temperature (68 F) until double in size, about 8-12 hrs. Please refer to the Baking Schedule above for alternative rise time options.

To stretch and fold the dough, begin 30-minutes to 1 hour into the bulk rise. Grab a portion of the dough and stretch it upward. Fold the dough over toward the center of the bowl. Give the bowl a one-quarter turn and repeat: stretch the dough upward and fold it over toward the center. Continue until you have come full circle to complete 1 set, or 4 folds around the bowl. Rest the dough for 30 minutes and then do a second set. For step-by-step instructions and video click here.

Shape the Dough

In the morning, coat an 8.5 x 4-inch loaf pan with butter. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and flour in a small bowl; set aside.

Remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat, flatten and stretch the dough to release any large air bubbles. Roll the dough into a 6 x 20-inch rectangle with a rolling pin. Gently score a 1-inch border around the sides leaving a 2-inch border at the very top to seal the dough (you are not cutting through the dough just marking it). Brush the entire surface with the egg wash or water, if using. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture inside the border. Slowly roll the dough into a log pinching the ends to seal. Place the dough into the loaf pan seam side down.

Second Rise

Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature until it has risen to about 1-inch above the rim of the pan, about 1 1/2- 2 hours depending on temperature. Check the height by looking at the domed center portion of the dough.

Preheat your oven to 375 F towards the tail end of the second rise.

Bake the Dough

Place the loaf pan on the center rack and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

This loaf will stay fresh for up to 3 days, stored in a plastic bag at room temperature.