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Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is a delicious bread to make with your sourdough starter. Made sandwich loaf style, this soft and flavorful sourdough bread is swirled with a delicious cinnamon sugar filling. Perfect to eat as is, toasted, or made into french toast!

Sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is a delicious bread to make with your sourdough starter. Made sandwich loaf style, this soft and flavorful sourdough bread is swirled with a delicious cinnamon sugar filling. Perfect to eat as is, toasted, or made into french toast!
sourdough cinnamon swirl loaf on cutting board with cut slices laying beside it
sourdough cinnamon swirl loaf on cutting board with cut slices laying beside it

This bread is the marriage of soft sourdough sandwich bread and cinnamon rolls. Soft, slightly tangy from sourdough, with perfect crumb that is great for slicing and toasting. But also has that wonderful cinnamon sugar swirl that is so delightful! 

slices of sourdough cinnamon swirl bread on cutting board

How to make this cinnamon swirl bread

This sourdough cinnamon bread is a great recipe to try! For the full set of instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card below.

*A note on raisins: If you want to add raisins to this recipe, soak 1 cup of raisins in 1 cup of hot water. Allow to sit on the counter while you prepare the dough up until you are shaping the loaf. Then you can drain the raisins and sprinkle them over the cinnamon sugar filling.

Make the dough

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the starter, four, honey, soft butter, milk, and egg. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  2. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add in the salt and mix until well combined.
  4. Knead until a soft dough forms.
sourdough dough

Bulk Ferment

  1. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel.
  2. Place in a warm spot and allow to bulk ferment for 3-4 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
before and after of bulk ferment

Shape the dough

  1. Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar to create the filling.
  3. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, making sure the short side of the rectangle is the same length as your loaf pan.
  4. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the dough.
  5. Starting at a short end of the dough, roll the dough up into a log, similar to if you were making cinnamon rolls.
  6. Pinch the ends closed.
  7. Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan, seam side down, and kind of tucking the ends under a little. Cover with a piece of greased plastic wrap, and then a tea towel. 
shaping cinnamon swirl bread

Final Proofing

  1. Allow the loaf pan to sit in a warm place to do its final rise for 3-4 hours. You want the dough to be about 1-2 inches over the top of the pan.

Optional: you could also place the pan in the refrigerator to do a longer cold fermentation overnight if you want. Just make sure you allow the loaf to warm up and finish proofing before baking.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F with the oven rack in the middle position. 
  2. Remove the plastic wrap from the pan and place the pan in the center of the oven.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check the bread at 20 minutes to see if it is getting too dark, at which point you can cover the loaf with a piece of foil. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 F and the top very golden at the end of baking.
  4. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
cinnamon swirl bread slice on plate with butter and knife

Baker’s Schedule

Knowing how this bread recipe fits into your schedule is an important step for knowing when you should start to have it be done on time. I like to work backwards from when I want the bread to be done baking and figure out when I should feed my starter.

  • Mixing Dough – 40 minutes
  • Bulk Fermentation – 3-4 hours, or until doubled
  • Shaping – 15 minutes
  • Final Proofing – 3 hours (can also do your final proof overnight in the fridge)
  • Baking – 40-50 minutes

*NOTE: The timing of this schedule is dependent on the temperature of your house. Dough will proof faster in a warmer house, and slower in a colder house. Watch the dough here, not the clock! For reference, the temperature of my house is 70 F. 

Recipe Note:

Typically sourdough loaves get a slice cut on top of the loaf (called scoring) to help the steam that is formed during baking a place to escape. This loaf does not get that treatment (because it will cut into the perfect swirl you created), and so sometimes during baking that steam forms little air pockets which turn into little gaps between the cinnamon swirl and the bread. This happens naturally and is perfectly normal. 

There are varying methods that have been created to help try to stop this, but I have had very lackluster results with all of them, and decided that it isn’t really worth it since it doesn’t guarantee results. So, gaps are perfectly fine!

What kind of sourdough starter do I need for this recipe?

This recipe uses a 100% hydration sourdough starter – meaning one that has been fed equal amounts of flour and water. For more reading on what that means, check out Feeding your sourdough starter.

This recipe needs a fed and active starter – so a starter that is nice and bubbly and has at least doubled in size. 

New to sourdough? Read my Ultimate Guide to Sourdough for Beginners to answer all the questions you have!

slices of cut cinnamon swirl bread layer out on cutting board to show off swirl pattern

How to serve 

This sourdough swirl bread is amazing on its own with some butter, but it is also great when toasted and served with jam. 

For a real treat, use this to make some sourdough french toast!

You could also serve a slice of this alongside some homemade chili for a real midwestern meal!

How to store

This bread stores best at room temperature in a bread bag, or wrapped in a kitchen towel. You can also store the bread, sliced side down, on a wooden cutting board. Do not store in the fridge, the bread will become hard.

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sourdough cinnamon swirl loaf on cutting board with cut slices laying beside it

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is a delicious bread to make with your sourdough starter. Made sandwich loaf style, this soft and flavorful sourdough bread is swirled with a delicious cinnamon sugar filling. Perfect to eat as is, toasted, or made into french toast!
4.38 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 196kcal
Author: Jenni – The Gingered Whisk

Ingredients

  • 165 grams sourdough starter fed and active
  • 415 grams all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk warmed
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons 44 grams honey
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter soft
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the starter, four, honey, soft butter, milk, and egg. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Add in the salt and mix. Knead until a soft dough forms.
  • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel.
  • Place in a warm spot and allow to bulk ferment for 3-4 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon and sugar to create the filling.
  • On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, making sure the short side of the rectangle is the same length as your loaf pan.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the dough.
  • Starting at a short end of the dough, roll the dough up into a log, similar to if you were making cinnamon rolls.
  • Pinch the ends closed.
  • Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan, seam side down, and kind of tucking the ends under a little.
  • Cover with a piece of greased plastic wrap, and then a tea towel.
  • Allow the loaf pan to sit in a warm place to do its final rise for 3-4 hours. You want the dough to be about 1-2 inches over the top of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F with the oven rack in the middle position.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the pan and place the pan in the center of the oven.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check the bread at 20 minutes to see if it is getting too dark, at which point you can cover the loaf with a piece of foil. The internal temperature of the bread should be around 200 F and the top very golden at the end of baking.
  • Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Notes

Store the bread at room temperature, wrapped in a kitchen towel or in a bread bag.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 277mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

11 Comments

  1. Hi so happy to have found your web site. Your recipes look fantastic the cinnamon swirl bread says 2tbsp honey 22 grams. My honey says 21 grams per TBSP. Did you mean 44 grams for 2 or 22 grams total?

    1. Thanks for catching this typo! It should be 2 Tablespoons total, so yes, that is 44 grams.

  2. Could I let this sit over night for the second proof and bake in the morning or is that too long?

    1. I would like to know this answer too.

    2. I would also like to know the answer to this question ^ rising over night?

      1. Hi Katelynn! I always try to include timing notes in the “baker’s schedule” section of the post. Yes, you can place this in the fridge overnight for the final proof. Then allow it to warm on the counter while the oven preheats!

    3. Hi Laura, if you look in the section where I write out the baker’s schedule for you, it does list out that you can do a second proof in the fridge overnight. Then just let it warm up on the counter while you preheat the oven. Hope this helps!

  3. I followed the directions and photos exactly. My first proof (on my warming burner lowest setting) took hours longer than stated. I shaped and did the final proof in the fridge overnight. I took it out at 8:30 and by 1:00 it had hardly risen. It is 6:50 and it just came out of the oven. It never did rise much above the pan. The proof will be in the cutting tomorrow.

    1. Hi Carol! Sorry you struggled with the timing of this recipe! Sourdough is always tricky like that, so many variables affect how long it takes, including the strength of our starter and the temperature and humidity of our house. I know right now the whole country is in a polar vortex and it has really affected my own starter. It is just so cold that the yeast is struggling to have its regular activity level! I always try to give disclaimers in multiple places to watch your dough and not the clock because this can happen!

  4. I Have yet to taste this bread but it was the most difficult bread I have ever made ( and I have been baking bread for years. the flour ration did not mix in and I had to dump it on the counter and knead in by hand ( it was a very thick hard dough, I finally got all the remaining flour in and kneaded for over twenty min before I actually got a smooth dough, it did get smooth, but like the other review it never raised. I tried it a second time and did not have much luck with that one either, are the ratio to flour mixtures correct?

    1. Hi Francine! I am sorry you struggled with this bread. I tested it several times while developing this recipe and yes, the flour ratios are correct. What is your starter like? How do you feed it? Are you feeding it a 1:1 ratio by weight?. The dough should rise to 1-2 inches over the top of the bread pan. If your house is cold it can take longer than normal because of how the cold affects the activity level of the yeast.

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