Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

My first foray into sourdough bread making, and by extension sourdough starters, was during this winter break. Needless to say, I sort of failed. My sourdough starter just wouldn’t get bubbly or active enough. I think it would have maybe with more time, but eventually I was only back here for 2 weeks before heading back to college, so eh. Luckily, Liz had more luck than I, so I took some of her sourdough starter to play with this spring break.

You may think I’m lame for blogging about bread when I should be naked, drunk, and swimming in some warm location of choice, but then you haven’t tried this bread. I finally succeed at making something that actually rose AND is delicious.

I guess I’ll start by pointing you in the direction of how to get your own sourdough starter going, since that’s the key ingredient here. For those that don’t know, starter is “wild yeast” that you cultivate yourself rather than buying your typical active dry yeast, and is what gives sourdough its, well, sour taste! My first recommendation for having your own starter, is find friends that have theirs and ask for some of it. If you don’t have friends, a great page with detailed instructions on how to get your own going is here at the Fresh Loaf. If that sounds way too intimidating to you, you can always buy some dried starter off the internet and revive it to get your own going. Sourdoughs International has several different cultures you can buy for about $14.

Now that you have a starter going, on to the recipe! For this I combined two different sourdough cinnamon-raisin recipes (here and here) and then changed them both around. Both only said to let the dough rise for 1-2 hours, which seemed a bit low to be, so I let the dough rise overnight instead.

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Prep Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Serving Size: one loaf

Delicious cinnamon raisin sourdough bread that's naturally vegan.


  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm/cool water
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoons melted Earth Balance (or other butter-like substance)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamon (optional)
  • fine-ground cornmeal for anti-stick purposes


  1. Take your cup of active sourdough starter (once it's all bubbly) and mix it with the raisins. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add in the water and bread flour, kneading the flour in a bit at a time until just combined.
  3. Lightly oil a bowl and let dough rise in there for about 4 hours covered with a damp washcloth.
  4. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead in the baking soda and earth Balance. Add up to 1/2 cup more bread flour if needed.
  5. Roll out into a rectangular shape about 14-16 inches long by 8 inches wide.
  6. Combine the cinnamon through cardamon in a small bowl and sprinkle all over the rolled out dough leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges.
  7. Roll up the dough long ways (the way that would allow you to roll the most) to get the spiral effect in the picture.
  8. Once neatly rolled, pinch together the ends and seal it off so it's like a nice little package. You can wet the edges if that helps.
  9. Line a mixing bowl with parchment paper, squish the dough more into a ball shape and plop it in the lined bowl to rise overnight. Like before, cover with a damp wash towel and let rise for at least 8 hours. It should increase in size by at least 1/3rd.
  10. Preheat your oven (and baking stone if you have one) to 450F.
  11. Once pre-heated, take your stone out of the oven and sprinkle it (or your metal making tray) generously with fine-grouned cornmeal to keep the bread from sticking.
  12. Uncover the risen bread, lift it out with the parchment paper and then plop upside-down onto the tray/stone. Peel away the parchment paper.
  13. With a sharp knife, cut 1 large or 3 smaller slits in the dough about 1/2 inch deep.
  14. Put the bread in the oven.
  15. Fill a small metal baking tray halfway with water and put this in the rack below the bread to provide steam.
  16. Immediately turn the oven down to 400F.
  17. Let bake for 35 minutes and then carefully remove the bread. Let cool for 10 minutes before eating. Yum!

This came out amazing, light, fluffy and delicious. The raisins were moist and the swirl was pretty! Success at last! It sounds like a lot of work, but I swear anyone can do it with a bit of time and patience. Most of the time it taken up by waiting for the bread to rise, so just get it going while you’re busy doing other things (or sleeping) and you’re all set.

  1. Warm locations are overrated and full of bitches anyway. That looks so good! Plz make this for me at my house next week.

    liz shmackenzie / Reply
  2. Looks nommy!!

    Danni / Reply
  3. Hi! I just found your blog. I’m also a college vegan so it’s good to find others out there 🙂 This bread looks awesome but I don’t think I’m ready to work with a sourdough starter yet, haha.

    nora / Reply
  4. I’m not vegan, but I’m looking forward to this! I’ve been looking for a sourdough cinnamon raisin bread to try! What a great idea to soak the raisins so they plump up!

    Ginger / Reply
  5. Making my second loaf today. This was a huge hit!

    Ginger / Reply
  6. Yay! I’m happy you like it, Ginger!

    Nicole / Reply
  7. I tried this recipe last night, Overall, it turned out well, except that after i baked it, i realized i never added the Sugar or Brown sugar. May just wanna throw that in the steps, unless i am missing it there as well

    Anonymous / Reply
  8. Hey Anonymous,

    Directions using the brown sugar and so on are at the bottom of the first paragraph after the ingredients! Sorry you forgot them, I hate when that happens!

    Nicole / Reply
  9. is the bit about the sugars in the link? Because is says about the cin and cardamon, but thats it, and the link requires a ID and password to see. I think thats why i missed it. After i had make it, and realized i had forgotten them, i realized where to put them in, i just didn’t remember reading at anywhere.

    I was just a bit confused, thats all, but thanks for responding 😀

    Anonymous / Reply
  10. Ah, never mind, got it now XD completely read it as something else. Thought it meant to mix the cinnamon through the cardamon, instead of the ingredients from cin to cardamon. Oy, makes sence now, thanks XD

    Anonymous / Reply
  11. The easiest way to make a sour dough starter is to use pineapple juice for the first three days. 2 T flour and 2T pineapple juice, mix and then the next day add the same again and the next day the same and you will have starter in three days. After the third day, just use water to mix with the flour. Your starter will smell like pineapple and then on the third day you will notice a yeasty smell and it is ready. Feed once a week and keep in the fridge if not using more than once a week. Let warm to room temp before using to activate the bacteria. The pineapple juice is the right Ph for a starter-water is not. Also do not use chlorinated water-the bugs don’t like it.

    Sophie / Reply
  12. Wow this was really good. Tastes just like cinnamon rolls without all of the butter/sugar! I was skeptical as I was making it because the dough was really tough and hard to knead but it worked really well. I used all white whole wheat flour (not bread flour). I also let it rise overnight for the first rising not the second. After I rolled it into a log I let it sit for a few hours (maybe 2 or 3) and then baked it and it was delicious! Thanks!

    Anonymous / Reply
  13. @Sophie – I tried to make a sourdough starter using OJ once that I found on the Fresh Loaf forum, but it didn’t work out and ended up smelling terribly wrong. I’ve had good results with just water and flour, but of course YMMV and there are so many factors that may make one method much better for others! Maybe I’ll give it another go sometime with pineapple juice, but hopefully my starter will stay alive for awhile!

    @Anonymous 1:52 I’m happy it worked out for you! You can mess around with the wet/dry ratio, but I found unless you’re going to cook it in a bread pan, you need it relatively dense to keep from flattening out. At this point I don’t even measure and play around to my liking, so there are lots of possibilities! Cinnamon and sugar are the best combination. 🙂

    Nicole / Reply
  14. […] lacking in the scale department. Again, for info on how to get a starter going, try here or read my my last post. Also, the recipe calls for some instant dry yeast in addition to starter, which I just omitted in […]

  15. Mine is in the oven, looking beautiful and smelling even better. My stomach is growling! I’ve been using my sour dough starter for a month now and it now is taking on that rich fermented odor and I’m so excited. I live in Mexico in a area where I cannot find cinnamon raisin bread. All my neighbors want some. Hmmm maybe I should open a business in my little village.

    Cherry / Reply

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