Deliciously soft, scented with cinnamon and studded with raisins. This sourdough cinnamon raisin bread is great to eat fresh, or toasted and slathered with butter.
I’ve got a personal goal to work my way through as many commercial yeast bread varieties as I can and create a sourdough version. A sourdough cinnamon raisin bread has always been on a front runner to try.
It has taken me a wee while to get it just right though.
It wasn’t a matter of adding fruit to a standard sourdough loaf. I had an idea of what the texture should be and a regular sourdough bread with raisins wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted it to be slightly tender but not overly so like a brioche, and I wanted it soft but not super fluffy like a hot cross bun.
So, it’s a little bit in between. The dough is lightly enriched with milk and a little bit of butter. This brings just the right amount of tenderness and softness to the crumb.
This makes two standard loaves. I use 2 x 450g (1lb) loaf tins.
I like slice up and freeze one, so we can easily grab a couple of pieces to pop in the toaster.
On day one I feed my starter in the morning, at a 1:2:2 ratio so I can use it between 4-6 hours later. 40g seed starter, 80g flour and 80g water give a total of 200g starter. The recipe needs 150g, so once I’ve used that, the remaining 50g is fed again and placed in the fridge until the next time I bake.
I like to use a fluffy starter with a low acid load. Read more about that in my Sourdough Bread Troubleshooting Guide.
The step for day one (not including the starter) is only 4 hours long before it goes in the fridge for the night. So there is no rush to start the process early in the day.
The dough ingredients are all mixed together in one bowl and squished together (by hand I find easiest) until the butter has been worked in.
It takes a couple of minutes by hand, and it’s a little messy and very sticky, but it’s not hard. Make sure it’s all worked in.
Then it’s placed in a clean dish.
Now it bulk ferments for 4 hours. During this time perform 6 sets of folds in the first three hours, one set every 30 minutes.
How the dough is folded doesn’t matter, a traditional stretch and fold works well or a coil fold is fine, just something to bring some structure to the dough. I tend to stick to my favourite coil fold method even though this dough is quite bulky which can make it a little tricky as it strengthens over time.
The picture below is after the first fold.
Once the dough strengthens and it becomes quite bulky, I end up lifting it up and swinging the bottom of the dough down, then folding it over.
After the 3 hours is up, leave the dough to bulk for another hour. Then cover the dough dish with an upside plate and placed in the fridge until morning.
The Next Day
The dough is removed from the fridge and pulled out of the bowl, onto a clean bench.
Then it’s split it into two equal portions.
On a lightly floured bench, stretch out one piece of dough into a rectangle. Fold the top 1/3 down to the middle, then fold the bottom 1/3 up, like a pamphlet.
Turn the dough 90 degrees and gently flatten it out a bit, then repeat the folding process.
This makes a little log. Roll it out to extend it a bit then place it in a lined loaf tin. Repeat with the remaining dough piece.
Now the dough needs to proof and double. This can take between 4-6 hours depending on the warmth of your room.
If your kitchen is colder than 23°C, you could create a warm spot such as a lightly preheated, but then turned off oven.
Once it has risen, heat the oven to 200 °C fan-bake (220°C regular oven).
Brush the tops of sourdough cinnamon raisin bread loaves with milk.
Bake the loaves for 35 minutes until deep golden brown on the top. When the breads are removed from the tins they should feel light and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
Have you made this Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz
If you’re after a traditional sourdough loaf, try my Basic Sourdough Loaf.
Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- 150 grams doubled, active starter
- 550 grams strong white flour with a protein level between 10.5-11.5%
- 50 grams brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 8 grams salt
- 100 grams raisins
- 250 ml milk
- 150 ml water
- 60 grams butter at room temperature
- 2 tbsp milk for brushing the tops of the bread
- In the morning, take 40g seed starter and feed it 80g flour and 80g water to give a total of 200g starter. This starter should double, if not triple, within 6 hours. This recipe needs 150g so the remaining 50g can be fed again and placed in the fridge for the next time.
- Mix all the dough ingredients except for the butter together in a bowl.
- Add in the butter and use your hand to squish it in well until it is all incorporated. It will make a very sticky dough.
- Tip the dough in a clean dish or bowl and for the next three hours perform 6 sets of folds, one set every half an hour.
- Once the folds are completed, leave the dough to proof at room temperature for one more hour before covering the dish and placing the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
The Next Day
- Remove the dough from the fridge and pull it from the bowl, onto a clean bench. Split it into two equal portions.
- Line two 450g (1lb)loaf tins.
- On a lightly floured bench, stretch out one piece of dough into a rectangle. Fold the top 1/3 down to the middle, then fold the bottom 1/3 up, like a pamphlet.
- Turn the dough 90 degrees and gently flatten it out a bit, then repeat the folding process. (See the pictures in the post for details.)
- This makes a little log. Roll it out to extend it a bit then place it in a lined loaf tin. Repeat with the remaining dough piece.
- Leave the dough to proof until it has doubled. This can take between 4-6 hours depending on the warmth of your room.
- After the dough has risen, heat the oven to 200 °C fan-bake (220°C regular oven).
- Brush the tops of the loaves with milk.
- Bake the loaves for around 35 minutes until deep golden brown. When the loaves are removed from the tins they should feel light and sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
- Leave the leaves to cool for an hour before slicing.