Recipes, sourdough

Cheater Sourdough Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

I call this recipe and my sourdough discard cinnamon roll recipe “cheater” because I add yeast to my sourdough starter discard so that I can make a quick yeast bread, use up my discard, and get that sourdough flavor without the wait for the 12 hour bulk rise.  For the cinnamon roll recipe, click on Cheater Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls.

I love raisin bread for breakfast toast.  It was a childhood treat, not indulged in very often, because there wasn’t enough money in the grocery budget for many treats.  Now that I have sourdough discard to use up, I’ve been experimenting with ways to use the discard in things I make anyway, Sourdough Pancakes and Waffles (which I just realized I’ve never posted a recipe for!) Sourdough Rolls, and Sourdough Snickerdoodles, Sourdough Pasta Noodles, and Sourdough Battered Onion rings.  The recipes for these three appeared some time ago in a post called Sourdough Fun. And I’ve finally posted the recipe and technique I use for getting a good loaf of Stand Mixer Sourdough Bread for sandwiches and toast, without having to use a bunch of expensive equipment like fancy Dutch ovens, bannetons for raising the bread, or a baking stone.  Feeding the starter for 10-12 hours for the bread is what leads to the discard, and the need to use the discard is what leads to all these other fun baked goods, including the recipe below.

Cheater Sourdough Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

2 cups of sourdough starter discard (it doesn’t have to be freshly fed)

2 teaspoons of instant yeast

½ cup milk (I use milk kefir because I’m lactose-intolerant)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup softened butter or butter substitute OR 1/4 cup of good quality cooking oil

1 teaspoon salt

Beat all these ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined. (I use my stand mixer with the dough hook.)

Additional ingredients:

Bread flour (can be all white or mix of white and whole wheat, or all whole grains)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ cup raisins

To the batter in the bowl, add the cinnamon and approximately 3 ½ cups flour, ½ cup at a time.  It works best if you stir the cinnamon into the first half cup of flour, so it disperses without clumping. Use your stand mixer with the dough hook to work enough of the flour in until you have a dough that just cleans the bowl as the hook rotates the dough ball.  Add the raisins and mix to combine.

Use the stand mixer and dough hook to knead the dough on a low-medium speed for about 5 minutes.  After that, hand-knead on a lightly-floured board, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about another 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl or lidded container with a bit of mild-flavored oil, and place dough ball inside, turning to coat the top with the oil. (Too much oil in the container and on the dough will retard the rise.) Cover the dough with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap or shower cap and place in a warm spot to double. With instant yeast, the dough will double in size in about 1 ½  – 2hours.  With whole wheat flour, doubling might take as much as 3 hours, and your finished loaf will be a little heavier than an all white flour bread.

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If you don’t have a stand mixer, all the mixing can be done by hand.  You’ll be mixing and kneading for about 10 minutes, or until dough is elastic and a knuckle dimple pressed into the kneaded dough springs back.

Prepare your bread pan, standard size for bread (or two smaller pans, if you wish), by greasing them with a solid fat like butter, butter substitute, or shortening.  Oiling the pan tends to make the bread stick, unless you are using an oil with a smoke point of 490 or 500 F. (Avocado oil and avocado blends are okay.) To shape, turn the dough out onto a floured board and press down gently to get the air out of the dough.  Shape the dough by pressing it into a rectangle just slightly longer than your pan.  Fold one third of the rectangle over to the middle, then fold the other third back over the first.  Pinch the seam together, and poke the ends of the loaf inside the folds or underneath them and pinch to seal.  Your loaf should be the same size or slightly shorter than the length of your pan.  You can brush the top of the dough with a very small amount of oil to keep it moist, if you wish.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place to rise.

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The dough should double within 30-60 minutes. (Again, whole wheat takes a little longer, but I was surprised by the rise I got on the loaf in all these pictures.  It was nearly all stone-ground whole wheat, with just about 1/4 cup of white bread flour added.)

When the dough has risen, place an oven rack on the next to lowest support, and heat the oven to 425 F. (A knuckle or fingertip pressed into the dough should leave a dimple that doesn’t spring back.) Remove the plastic and cut a slash lengthwise down the top of the loaf. This allows steam to escape and encourages oven spring.

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Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then check to see if it’s done.  It will be pretty brown because of the sugar content, and you have to watch carefully to keep it from burning.  You can lower the heat to 375 after 20 minutes if your loaf is browning too quickly but you don’t think it’s done. It should not take more than 30 minutes total baking time.

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Turn the loaf immediately out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.  Do not cut the loaf until it has cooled at least an hour.  Because this is a sweet bread, I recommend storing it in a plastic bag in the fridge if it isn’t gone in a few days! It might mold on the counter sooner than ordinary sourdough bread does.

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I like this bread best toasted for breakfast, although a slightly warm heel slathered in butter is a good thing with a cup of milky tea in the afternoon.

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