Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Milk Bread

Sponsored by The Watkins Co.

Plump cinnamon and vanilla soaked raisins encased by soft, fluffy milk bread. You won’t be able to resist tearing chunks out of this Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Milk Bread!

I remember my parents buying a loaf of Cinnamon Raisin Milk Bread at least once a week when I was growing up. It was my dad’s favorite, tender and shred-able, with sweet plump raisins throughout the crumb. My parents would bring home an unsliced loaf, my siblings, my dad and I would descend on it, tearing large chunks of bread until there was nothing left. With four of us competing for a piece, these loaves usually didn’t last more than a few hours. 

There were so many bakeries in the Philippines, and with easy access to all of our favorite breads and pastries, my mom never felt the need to bake bread at home. This changed when we immigrated to the United States in 2002. Like many immigrants, food became a way for us to feel closer to home. To this day, my parents continue to surprise me by cooking and baking some of our most beloved Filipino dishes that I once thought were impossible to make in a home kitchen. 

Like my parents, learning to make some of my favorite Filipino breads has been a way for me to relive my childhood and hold on to my memories of the Philippines. I’ve partnered with The Watkins Company to recreate the Cinnamon Raisin Milk Bread that I loved growing up. My recipe uses Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon and Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla Extract to flavor both the raisins and the dough. The Cinnamon Raisin Milk Bread that I grew up eating had cinnamon in the dough, instead of a cinnamon sugar swirl. This resulted in a bread that was pleasantly sweet, that lets the warm notes of vanilla and cinnamon really shine. 

Cinnamon and vanilla are the stars of this bake, so using high quality spices and extracts are essential. I love using Watkins products because they are free from dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, added MSG and other artificial ingredients. Since their products are available and easily accessible to everyone through many retailers nationwide and at Watkins1868.com, you’ll be able to capture the flavor of this bake in your own kitchen.  

For the best chance of success, you’ll want to make sure your sourdough starter is active before baking. It’s best to feed your starter twice a day for a few days to make sure it’s at the peak of its strength and activity. Enrichments like butter, milk and eggs, which help to make this bread soft and fluffy, also slow down yeast. Practice patience, during the bulk fermentation and the final proofing periods, make sure your dough feels airy and you see a pronounced increase in volume before moving on to the next step in the recipe, even if that means letting the dough rise for longer than the recipe dictates. 

This recipe uses tangzhong, an Asian technique that results in a really tender crumb that stays moist for days after it’s baked. If you’ve never baked using tangzhong before, it simply requires cooking a part of the flour and milk in the recipe into a slurry before adding it to the rest of the dough ingredients. It’s really easy, and worth the extra step. Just make sure you let your tangzhong cool down before mixing it in with your starter or it may kill your yeast.

Now onto the recipe!

Ingredients


Filling

IngredientGramsVolume
Raisins85½ cup
Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon1 teaspoon
Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla Extract7½ tablespoon
Water56¼ cup

Tangzhong 

IngredientsGramsVolume
Baker’s %
Bread flour213 tablespoon100.00%
Whole milk150⅔ cup714.00%

Dough

IngredientsGramsVolume
Baker’s %
Active Sourdough Starter113½ cup37.00%
Whole milk77⅓ cup25.00%
Egg
1 Large
Watkins Organic Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla Extract141 tablespoon5%
Brown sugar50¼ cup17%
Bread flour3041 ⅓ cup100.00%
Watkins Organic Ground Cinnamon21 teaspoon.7%
Salt6.081 ½ teaspoon2.00%
Butter56¼ cup18.42%

Instructions 

Soak Raisins 

In a small bowl combine filling ingredients (raisins, cinnamon, vanilla and water). Set aside and  leave the raisins to soak for at least 30 minutes. 

Make Tangzhong 

Combine bread flour and milk in a large microwave safe bowl. Whisk them together until no lumps remain. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Take the mixture out and stir again. Return the bowl to the microwave for another 60 seconds. Your mixture should have thickened and have the consistency of thick gravy, if not, stir again and microwave for another 30 seconds. Set the mixture aside and let it cool completely. 

Make the Dough 

Add sourdough starter, milk, egg, and vanilla to your cooled tangzhong (make sure the temperature of your tangzhong measures less than 110 F). Stir until the starter has fully dissolved and no streaks of egg remain. Set aside.  

In a separate bowl, whisk together bread flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  

Add half of the flour mixture into the starter mixture. Mix using a wooden spoon or a spatula until the flour is hydrated. Stir in the remaining flour, and begin lightly kneading the dough in your bowl using your hands. Continue to knead the dough inside the bowl until your dough feels smooth and has built some strength. 

Knead the butter into the dough one tablespoon at a time, waiting until each portion of butter is fully incorporated before the next addition.

Drain the raisins and them into the dough. Knead until the raisins are evenly distributed throughout. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside for an hour. This rest period will allow the gluten to relax and flour to become fully hydrated, making your dough feel less sticky, more elastic and easier to handle. 

After your dough has rested, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until your dough looks smooth and passes the windowpane test. Check gluten development by stretching a portion of your dough using your fingertips, once your dough is ready you should be able to stretch until it is translucent without breaking. 

Bulk Fermentation and Overnight Proof

Once your dough has developed enough strength, place it inside a lightly-oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set the dough in a warm place undisturbed until it appears bubbly and has increased in volume by at least 50%. This may take 4 to 6 hours or longer depending on the temperature of your kitchen and the strength of your starter. 

Punch the air out of your dough, round it into a tight ball and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the dough into the refrigerator to proof overnight. 

Shape and Final Proof

Line a 9 by 4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. 

Working with 1 portion at a time, flatten the dough and fold all four corners towards the middle. Turn the dough over and using your cupped hand, gently roll the dough on your work surface until it forms a tight ball. Place the shaped roll into the loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining dough portions. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap. 

Set your dough in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise until it looks puffy and feels soft to the touch with a texture resembling marshmallows. Your dough is ready to bake when it fills your loaf pan with only half an inch of space on top. 

Bake

Once your dough has proofed, preheat your oven to 375 F. Brush the top of your dough with egg wash and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until it’s golden brown and the temperature of the dough registers at least 180 F. 

Remove your loaf from the loaf pan and move to a wire rack. Allow your dough to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. 

Enjoy warm by itself or with butter. 

Store leftovers in a ziplock bag or an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.  

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Remember to post a photo and tag me @makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake.

Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa LeCoump says:

    Wow! This looks incredible! I love the post and the photos. I am so glad I follow your blog so I get a notice when you post and I can find it when I want to make it. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the work you put into your posts.

    1. Such kind and touching words. Thank you so much, Lisa! It really does mean so much that you are loving the recipes and the blog.

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