Best Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

This is the BEST sourdough cinnamon swirl bread with a tender crumb and warm notes of cinnamon and brown sugar.

woman buttering sourdough cinnamon swirl slice

Veering ever so slightly away from the standard sourdough bread today. Giving warmth, a bit of sweetness, and something perfect to bake for fall. This sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is a fantastic loaf to bake up this time of year. Although, when is cinnamon and sugar ever a bad idea?

After several attempts and many slices of sourdough cinnamon swirl toast later, I FINALLY have it right. This is the BEST sourdough cinnamon swirl bread recipe. A crisp outside and a super soft crumb filled with a hint of cinnamon sugar. For the ultimate experience, I recommend toasting a thick slice and slathering with salted butter.

But before I go talking about how to enjoy it, let’s get to how to make this delicious bread recipe I know you are going to love.

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread Is…

  • Soft, sweet and filled with cinnamon sugar
  • A delicious breakfast bread that makes the best toast
  • The perfect leftover bread for French toast
  • Filled with the wonderful benefits of an active sourdough starter
  • A delicious recipe the whole family will love

Ingredients

Flour- This recipe calls for bread flour. I like to use King Arthur’s unbleached bread flour.

Starter- Make sure you have fed your starter several hours before mixing up the dough. The sourdough starter should be nice and bubbly.

Sugar- You can use dark or light brown sugar for this recipe. Both work well and taste delicious in this bread.

Cinnamon- Cinnamon adds a lovely warmth to the brown sugar don’t skip it.

Water- Regular drinking water is fine.

Salt- I like to use sea salt in my kitchen but Kosher salt works well and even standard table salt will work for this.

Baking Soda- Baking soda helps cut the sourdough tang so that the sweetness in the bread stands out not the sourdough flavor. If you love the sourness of sourdough bread, feel free to skip the baking soda.

Tools

Large bowl

Dutch Oven

Directions

Combine the flour, active starter, water, baking soda, salt, and honey in a large mixing bowl with a fork. The dough will be shaggy. This is normal. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the shaggy dough to rest for 30 minutes.

sourdough dough mixed in a bowl

After the dough has rested…

Let’s put away our stand mixer for this one. Instead, we will do 4 sets of stretch and folds for this recipe with a 30-minute rest in between. I like to do 4 stretch and folds per set. If you need a little more visual, watch the video.

Begin the first set by uncovering the bowl. It helps to use wet hands. Start by lifting up a corner of the dough and stretch it to fold it over itself. Just like the name implies.

woman stretching dough
sourdough ball

Turn the bowl slightly, grab another corner stretch the dough in an upwards manner, and fold it over itself. Repeat for a total of 4 times. Place the tea towel back over the bowl. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Then you will repeat this exact process 3 more times for a total of 4 sets.

Note: You will notice that the dough becomes smoother and holds its shape better after each set of stretch and folds.

After the 4th set, you will place the tea towel over the bowl and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight for the bulk fermentation.

dough rolled out on a marble dough board

Adding the swirl…

The following morning, or when the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough to release the air. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Shape it into a ball and smash or roll it out flat into somewhat of a large rectangle shape.

woman adding cinnamon and sugar to dough

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.

Tip: Place a floured banneton basket nearby or (if you don’t have one) a colander with a linen towel works great too. Make sure there is a good amount of flour sprinkled inside to prevent sticking.

woman folding cinnamon and sugar into dough
woman tucking dough
woman shaping a loaf of dough

To fold and shape, pick up one side of the dough and begin folding over itself then pinching in the sides as you roll. Fold the dough in itself and pinch the bottom together on the final fold. This will help keep the cinnamon sugar mixture from spilling out.

a shaped dough ball

Place the dough topside down into the awaiting banneton basket (or colander with linen towel). Put the basket into the fridge and allow it to chill for 5 hours or overnight.

woman placing bread sourdough bread dough into a banneton basket

Time to bake…

When ready to bake, place a Dutch oven inside the oven and preheat to 450℉. Allow the Dutch oven with the lid on to heat up in the oven for 20 minutes. Cut a large piece of parchment paper and remove the dough from the fridge. Turn it onto the parchment paper.

woman scoring bread

Use a sharp knife or a razor blade to lightly score the top.

sourdough cinnamon swirl loaf ready for the oven

Remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Be careful it is hot! Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf and place it inside the Dutch oven. Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and finish baking for 15 minutes until golden brown.

freshly sourdough baked cinnamon swirl bread

When the loaf is ready, remove it from the oven. Place it on a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool before slicing.

slices of sourdough cinnamon swirl bread

Baking Notes

  • Measure the ingredients carefully
  • For water, it helps to measure it at eye level
  • If you do not have a banneton bowl you use a colander or basket with a linen towel inside
  • Allow the Dutch oven to heat for 20 minutes before placing the bread dough inside to bake
  • Wait for the entire loaf to cool before slicing. Slicing into a loaf too early can result in a gummy loaf.

Sample Baking Schedule

8 pm: Mix the dough and allow it to rest for 30 minutes
8:30 pm: Complete the first set of stretch and folds
9 pm: Second stretch and fold set
9:30 pm: Third stretch and fold set
10:00 pm Final stretch and fold set
Overnight: Bulk Rise
Next Day
7 am: Punch dough, fill and shape
7:15-12:15 pm: Proofing (chill dough)
12:15 pm: Preheat oven
12:55-1:40 pm: Bake
1:40-2:40 pm- Cool
2:45 pm: Slice and serve

FAQ

Can I add sweet raisins to this bread?

You can add raisins and possibly the best way to do this is to first allow them to soak in a little vanilla or water for a few seconds. Then stir them into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Soaking the raisins a little will help the cinnamon sugar mixture stick to the raisins. Spread the mixture over the dough as instructed and finish the recipe as written. 

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour for this?

You can substitute the bread flour for all-purpose. However, you will have slightly different results as bread flour has more protein than standard all-purpose, affecting the texture and overall structure. If doing so, I would mix the dough with 1 1/4 cups of water at first and add the remaining water as needed. It is my experience that bread flour tends to need more water. 

Why stretch and fold over using a mixer with a dough hook?

It might seem much more complicated if you have never done the stretch and fold method for your sourdough baking. However, I assure you it is not. I believe the contrary to be true. Some sourdough bakers even use both methods allowing the mixer to do half the work upfront and then finishing with a few sets of stretch and folds.

For this recipe, I recommend sticking to the stretch and fold method entirely as I tested this with a mixer and found a better dough rise with this more gentler method. Although, if you are pressed for time, kneading with a mixer will still yield similar results.

How To Store

There are many ways to store the loaf but before storing, be sure the loaf has completely cooled you can store leftover sourdough cinnamon swirl bread by wrapping it in a tea towel or placing it in a plastic bag. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

For longer storage, freezing is the best option.

To Freeze: I like to slice the bread and stack the slices between parchment paper. Place the stacked bread slices into a large gallon-sized freezer bag. Push all the air out of the bag before putting it into the freezer.

To defrost, I take a few slices out and allow them to come to room temperature. Then I pop them into the toaster oven and slather them with salted butter. Delicious!

More Sourdough Recipes To Try…

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Sourdough Baking Essentials

Dutch Oven

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sourdough cinnamon swirl bread
Yield: 1 loaf

Best Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread Recipe

freshly sourdough baked cinnamon swirl bread

a delicious soft, sourdough loaf with cinnamon and sugar baked inside

Prep Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 13 hours
Total Time 16 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 480g (about 4 cups) bread flour
  • 100g ( 1 cup) active sourdough starter
  • 42g (2 tbsp.) honey
  • 345g ( 1 1/2 cups) water
  • 6g (1 tsp) sea salt
  • 70g (1/3 cup) brown sugar, not packed
  • 6g (2 tsp) cinnamon
  • 3g (1 tsp) baking soda (optional)

Instructions

    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, active starter, water, baking soda, salt, and honey with a fork. The dough will look shaggy. This is normal.
    2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the shaggy dough to rest for 30 minutes.
    3. We will be doing 4 sets of stretch and folds for this recipe with a 30 minute rest in between. I like to do 4 stretch and folds per set. If you need a little more visual, watch the video in post.
    4. Begin the first set by uncovering the bowl. It helps to use wet hands.
    5. Start by lifting up a corner of the dough and stretch it to fold it over itself. Just like the name implies.
    6. Turn the bowl slightly, grab another corner and stretch the dough in an upwards manner and fold it over itself.
    7. Turn the bowl and repeat for a total of 4 times.
    8. Place the tea towel back over the bowl. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Then you will repeat this exact process 3 more times. You will notice that the dough becomes smoother and holds its shape better after each set of stretch and folds.
    9. After the 4th set, you will place the tea towel over the bowl and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight for the bulk fermentation.
    10. The following morning, or when the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough to release the air.
    11. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface.
    12. Shape it into a ball and smash or roll it out flat into a large rectangle shape.
    13. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and brown sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.
    14. Place a floured banneton basket nearby or if you don't have one a colander with a linen towel works great too. Make sure there is a good amount of flour sprinkled inside.
    15. To fold dough and shape, pick up one side of the dough and begin folding over itself then pinching in the sides as you roll.
    16. Fold the dough in itself and pinch the bottom together on the final fold. This will help keep the cinnamon sugar mixture from spilling out.
    17. Place the dough topside down into the awaiting banneton basket (or colander with linen towel).
    18. Put the basket into the fridge and allow it to chill for 5 hours or overnight.
    19. When ready to bake, place a Dutch oven inside the oven and preheat at 450F. Allow the Dutch oven with lid on to heat up in the oven for 20 minutes.
    20. Cut a large piece of parchment paper and remove dough from the fridge. Turn it onto the parchment paper.
    21. Use a sharp knife of a razor blade to lightly score the top. Remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven. Be careful it is hot!
    22. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf and place it inside the Dutch oven.
    23. Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes.
    24. Then, remove the lid and finish baking 15 minutes until golden brown.
    25. When the loaf is ready, remove it from the oven. Place it on a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool before slicing.

Notes

  • Measure the ingredients carefully
  • For water, it helps to measure it at eye level
  • If you do not have a banneton bowl you use a colander or basket with a linen towel inside
  • Allow the Dutch oven to heat for 20 minutes before placing the bread dough inside to bake
  • Wait for the entire loaf to cool before slicing. Slicing into a loaf too early can result in a gummy loaf.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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8 Comments

    1. It doesn’t have to be for the most part. This is a very hydrated dough and I find it rises fine without having to dampen the tea towel however, you can if you are in a dry climate or just want to play it safe. Either way, I hope you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  1. Can I put the inclusion in after the bulk ferment then cold proof over night ?
    I just made the cheddar and jalepeno recipe that way and came out great.
    Thank you

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