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sourdough cinnamon raisin bread recipe 1
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There are moments in life when your body and soul wants nothing more than cinnamon-swirled raisin toast with butter on top.

The aroma of the cinnamon and sugar toasted to perfection makes me feel like a kid again, and like everything is right in the world, even when it isn’t.

For me, the sweet and spicy smell of cinnamon somehow calms the noise and chaos of the world and brings me back to myself for just a moment.

ingredients for sourdough cinnamon raisin bread

On the first attempt at this recipe, I thought I would get a little fancy and add chai spice instead of just cinnamon.  It was good, but a little disappointing.

My 2 year old confirmed this by taking a bite of the toast and saying “Mmm…good”, but then abruptly spit it out after he realized there was just too flavor.

He preceded to make a “gentle” command that came out more like a polite question.  He shrugged his shoulders and pushed the pieces of toast in a pile and said, “Throw it in the traaaash?”

I hated to admit it, but I agreed with his review.  However, the rest of the bread is in the freezer (not the trash) waiting to be tranformed into beautiful French toast one Sunday morning.  I think I can live with that.

The second attempt was exactly what I was looking for.  A tender interior, an earthy aroma from the whole wheat flour, the sweet smell of cinnamon, and the juicy bite of soft raisins.

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread dough

“So how do you put together this soft and tender bread”, you ask?  In the words of Lionel Richie, “It’s as easy as Sunday morning”.

The mantra for bread here at Bessie Bakes is slow and easy.  Slow as in, long fermentation.  Easy as in, you barely lift a finger and let a sourdough culture and natural fermentation do the rest.

Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until combined, cover and let ferment all day or overnight.  When it’s risen, place on your countertop, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice-soaked raisins, and roll like a jellyroll.

Proof for about 60-90 minutes, and bake.

In essence, you only need a bowl, a spoon or spatula, and about 10 minutes of hands-on time in order to make a loaf of this beautiful no knead sourdough cinnamon raisin bread.  Yes, yes, and yes.

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread dough after rising



Cinnamon raisin bread filling

cinnamon raisin bread filling up close

how to shape and proof sourdough cinnamon raisin bread

Steam is essential for helping the bread to have a nice “oven spring”.  Simply heat a pan in the hot oven for several minutes and throw a cup of ice in the pan once you put your loaf on the rack.  Close the door immediately to trap in the steam.

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread baking

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread baked

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread sliced

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread recipe

sourdough cinnamon raisin bread

Slice and serve with butter, and maybe reserve some pieces for French toast.  Mmmm…good.

Tag @bessie.bakes on Instagram to share your beautiful bread creations!


Bon Appétit Ya’ll,

Leslie O.


sourdough cinnamon raisin bread recipe
4 from 1 vote

No Knead Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Sweet cinnamon, brown sugar, and juicy raisins leave a swirl of goodness inside this lovely whole wheat sourdough bread.

Course bread, Breakfast
Prep Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Bessie Bakes


For the dough

  • 5 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour 925 grams
  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour 185 grams
  • 3 3/4 cups Water, room temp 809 grams
  • 1 Tbsp Salt 20 grams
  • 1/4 cup ripe unfed Sourdough Starter/culture 58 grams

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Raisins soaked in 2 Tbsp orange juice or warm water to soften
  • Butter or oil for brushing the dough and the pan


  1. Mix the whole wheat and all purpose flour, and salt together until combined.

  2. Add the water and sourdough culture/starter and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined.  If the dough looks a bit dry, you can add an extra tablespoon of water at a time because whole wheat flour absorbs a lot of water.  You don't have to knead the dough because the long fermentation will create the structure you need.  

  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours.  Because there is no dry yeast added, the sourdough fermentation is very forgiving, in that it takes a lot to over-ferment a sourdough bread dough.  

  4. When the dough has doubled in size, place the dough onto your counter and shape into a rectangle, making it more long than wide.  You want it to be the same width as your loaf pan after rolling it up.  Spread melted butter or oil over the rectangle.

  5. Add orange juice or warm water to the raisins to soften for a few minutes.

  6. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and spread all over the rectangle.  Add the raisins on top.

  7. Roll the bread like a jellyroll and pinch the ends together to seal the bottom.

  8. Brush a loaf pan really well with butter or oil.  Place the dough in the pan.  Once it's in the pan, take your fingers and lift the dough away from the sides all the way around and add a little extra butter or oil around the edges of the dough to keep it from sticking.  Smooth back out and cover with plastic wrap to proof.

Proofing the bread

  1. You can proof the bread one of two ways.

    *  Proof the bread in a warm spot in your kitchen or inside a completely cooled oven with the light turned on to keep it warm for 60-90 minutes or until it's almost doubled in size.

    *  Or for convenience, you can proof the bread overnight in the fridge if you want to bake it first thing the next morning.  The temperature of the fridge will slow down fermentation so it doesn't over-proof.  If it's still not completely proofed in the morning, you can put in on the counter for 15-30 minutes until it's proofed.

  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes.  The top should be a deep brown color.  If you are unsure if it's baked in the center, remove it from the loaf pan and tap the bottom of the bread.  If it sounds hollow, it's ready.

  3. Let rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing because the center will still be setting.

Recipe Notes

Sourdough Starter:

Always use ripe unfed sourdough starter to make bread rise.  That means your starter will be at it's peak ripeness about 4-8 hours before making this recipe.

Baking schedule:

If you want to bake it first thing in the morning as soon as you get up, you can start this bread the morning before, let it ferment all day at room temp, fill and roll it, and let it proof in the fridge overnight.  The extra fermentation time is great for the nutritional value and for ease of digestion.

You can also mix the dough, let it ferment overnight, fill and shape the next morning, proof, then bake.  Just keep in mind you will need 2-2 1/2 hours the next morning to finish that process.

This bread freezes perfectly.  Simply wrap really well in plastic wrap once it's completely cooled.

This no knead cinnamon raisin bread

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  1. Meg says:

    This makes at least two loaves, I’m not sure why this isn’t mentioned. I made the mistake of cramming it into my standard loaf pan and it overflowed. Fortunately it still tastes good! I definitely recommend changing the recipe to reflect that it makes two loaves and to separate the dough.

    • Thank you for your feedback Meg! The loaf pan I use is 10.5 x 5.5 and 2.2 inches deep. This recipe only made one loaf for that size pan. I have another loaf pan that measures 10.5 x 6 x 3, so in that pan, the bread would have spread out a touch more. It could have been that your loaf pan is a bit smaller and therefore it was a tight fit. This is the tricky part of creating bread recipes when you have to use a vessel to bake in. Everyone’s vessel is going to be a slightly different size, so sometimes you have to cut the dough a bit to fit your pans or the pans are too large for the size that you have.

      If the dough was already level to the top of the pan when you put it in, then it will certainly overflow. Bread baked in loaf pans or any type of vessel needs a bit of room to expand when you proof it. Another issue could be how it was shaped. If it is spread out too long, you will have to cram it in. I certainly did this when I did my first trial run of this recipe, so I had to adjust the shaping for the second time I made it. When I create a new bread recipe, I always have to play around with how I shape it because I know that bakers will have issues with the sizing depending on what they are using.

      The last possible issue could have been the proofing time. I have to give people a time for proofing, but bread proofs at different speeds depending on how warm or cold your kitchen is. The proofing time isn’t an exact science, but rather it’s how the dough looks and feels. It’s a bit hard to give people instructions that seem so vague for fear they won’t know exactly what to do. When proofing a dough in a vessel, it shouldn’t expand 50%, but rather 20-30% tops. It doesn’t sound like this was the issue for you, however, but I thought I would mention it just in case.

      I’ll make sure to add these to the notes of the recipe, so thank you for letting me know how it turned out. I appreciate you making the recipe and giving excellent feedback!

  2. K says:

    Yes for a 8” or 9” pan, it will make two loaves. Mine is proofing now in two pans. I’ve learned that a recipe calling for 6+ cups of flour will make two standard loaves or a huge single boule.

  3. Marie says:

    Fed or up fed starter??

    • Great question! Always use ripe unfed starter when making sourdough bread. This means about 4-8 hours after you have fed your starter it will be at it’s peak ripeness.

      • Marie milia says:

        To me that would mean “fed”since I will be feeding it before using it. When I take my starter from the fridge I usually give it two feedings about 12 hours apart before making my bread. Should I do the same with the cinnamon bread?

        • Sorry for the delayed response! “Fed” starter refers to starter that has just been fed. Unfed starter is starter that needs to be given a feeding, and if it’s still ripe and bubbly, it’s ready to use for bread.

          So you would want to do your feedings, and since you make bread dough 12 hours after your last feeding, then you can use your starter for this cinnamon raisin bread recipe at this time, provided that your starter is still nice and ripe. The dough will “feed” your starter. And, of course, reserve some starter to give it a feeding at this time to keep your batch going.

          Think about it this way. Whenever your starter is ready to be fed, it’s hungry, so it’s unfed until you feed it with flour and water. “Fed” starter just means that you just fed it and it needs to ferment to get nice and bubbly and ripe.

          Does that make sense?

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