After searching for the best cinnamon-raisin toast, this tender loaf is the winner. It's based on this excellent no-knead recipe from Lemons & Anchovies, which nails the raisin-cinnamon filling. My adaptations increase the tenderness of the base loaf. I used golden raisins, but I've also made this loaf with dried cranberries. For more instruction for making no-knead sourdough bread, get my free guide, Simplest Sourdough.
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 50minutes
Total Time 4hours
Author Lynne Curry
1 cup (4.2 ounces/120 grams)Golden raisins, dried cranberries or raisins
1cup (about 8 ounces/227 grams)Active sourdough starter, "fed" within the past 12 hours
1cup (8 ounces/227 grams)Milk, 70-75ºF degrees Fany type
1large Egg, beatenpastured
2tablespoons (.9 ounces/26 grams)Packed brown sugar
2teaspoons (.35 ounces/10 grams)Fine sea salt
1/4cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams)Granulated sugar
1tablespoonBest-quality ground cinnamon
softened butter, for servingpastured
Soak the golden raisins in a bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes until softened.
Combine the flour, sourdough, milk, egg, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Drain the raisins, add them to the mixture and stir with a spatula or use the dough hook on low speed just until it begins to form a rough dough. Let the dough rest covered with a damp dish towel for 30 minutes in a warm spot (70-75ºF) .
After the dough has rested, you will perform a series of folds during the initial rise. Uncover the dough and use a wet hand to lift, gently stretch and fold one edge of the dough toward the center. Turn the bowl clockwise and repeat this lift-stretch-fold action 3-4 more times. Recover the dough and continue to let it rise for about 30 minutes.
During the rising time over the next 2 hours, repeat this folding method every half hour. You will notice how the dough becomes more shiny, stretchy and airy over this period. After the final fold, cover the dough and allow it to rise for another hour. The dough is ready for shaping when you press your index finger into the dough and it springs back slowly. If you kitchen is cool, you may need to allow the dough an additional 30-60 minutes of rising time.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl to blend. Lightly grease a standard loaf pan and set these near your workspace.
Shape the dough by turning it out onto a lightly floured countertop. Use your hands to gently stretch the dough into a rectangle shape that is about as wide as the loaf pan. It will deflate slightly, but you want to maintain the airiness of the dough for the best results. The sizing is not important.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly all over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the shorter side at the top. Starting at the edge nearest to you, roll the dough into a log like cinnamon roll, flouring your hands as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to them. Tuck the ends under so that the log is about the same width as the loaf pan and transfer it with the seam side down. Cover the dough and allow to rise until it is rounded above the edges of the pan, about 1 hour more.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF with the rack in the upper third of the oven. When the dough is ready, use a lame or serrated knife to make a single long slash the long way from end to end to allow the loaf to expand. Place the dough on the rack and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400ºF.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown, well risen and an instant-read thermometer registers 190-195ºF in the center, about 40 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes before slipping the loaf out of the pan to cool to room temperature.
Store the cooled loaf at room temperature in a resealable plastic bag for up to 5 days. Slice 1-inch thick and toast until golden brown and spread generously with softened butter.