The Fresh Loaf

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Saigon Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough

Danni3ll3's picture

Saigon Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough

Alan posted delicious looking cinnamon raisin batards ( so I had to jump on the bandwagon too. I scaled up the original recipe from Maurizio to make three boules of my usual size which is usually around 1100 g of flour. 

I didn’t go as far as Maurizio to make my own raisins but I certainly thought about it! Due to it being a crazy week, I went with unsulfured Thompson raisins and soaked them in some bourbon overnight. His wholewheat flour was replaced by freshly milled Red Fife wheat done on the finest setting I could get on my Komo mill. I did not sift out the bran. It took a bit to find the Saigon cinnamon but one of the local health food stores had it.

As well, I used my Kitchen Aid Pro Line mixer to mix and develop the gluten instead of using slaps and folds. When it was time to integrate the levain and the salt, I put the mixer on speed one for 1 or two minutes, then I put it on speed two for 9 minutes to develop the gluten. After the 9 minutes, I added the cinnamon and the raisins and mixed for another minute. The rest of the recipe was followed as per Maurizio’s instructions. This is the link to Maurizio’s original recipe:


So here is my rescaled recipe:


Makes 3 loaves



60 g trice refreshed sourdough starter

30 g strong bakers unbleached flour

30 g home milled red fife flour

60 g of filtered water



740 g strong bakers unbleached flour

300 g freshly milled red fife flour

830 g filtered water (divided into 730 g and 100 g)

22 g salt

180 g levain from above

220 g unsulfured Thompson raisins

22 g Bourbon

12 g Saigon cinnamon



The night before:


  1. Soak the raisins in the bourbon and cover overnight.
  2. Be sure that your starter has been refreshed a couple of times already and give it one more feeding. You should have a total of 60 g of starter.
  3. Mill the required amounts of Red Fife berries on the finest setting possible. Reserve. 

Dough making day:


  1. Early in the morning, add the water and flours for the Levain to the starter and let sit for 3 to 4 hours.


  1. About an hour before the levain is ready, mix the dough flours and 730 g of the water together in a stand mixer on the lowest speed for a minute or two, and then let autolyse for an hour or so.
  2. Add the salt, part of the reserved water, and the levain and mix for a minute on the lowest speed. Then mix on the next speed up for 9 minutes. 
  3. Then add the remaining water and the cinnamon. Let that mix for 30 seconds or so and then add the soaked raisins. Mix until the raisins are fairly well distributed. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place.
  4. After 30 minutes, give it a set of stretches and folds until it feels quite firm.  
  5. 30 minutes after that, do another set. Then let rise for another 3 or 4 hours. My dough temperature was 76 F when Maurizio called for 79F. I placed the dough in a warm spot (oven with the door cracked open and the lights on) to compensate for the cooler dough. I let it rise until I saw a number of large bubbles on top and the volume had expanded by 50%. This was an additional 4 hours and 15 minutes after the folds for this particular dough. So the total bulk was 5 hours and 15 minutes. 
  6. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~775 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  7. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make as tight boule as you can.
  8. Place the dough seam side down in rice floured bannetons. Cover, then refrigerate overnight. The loaves spent 15.5 hours in the fridge. 

Baking Day:

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Watch that they don’t burn. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.
  3. The house smells amazing!


rgreenberg2000's picture

I'll bet your house smells good!  I'm not a huge fan of the cinnamon/raisin combo, and even I want to cut a slice from one of those loaves! :)  As always, your six soldiers look lovely, and I'm sure will be very well received!


Danni3ll3's picture

came out just as well. This recipe is a keeper!

Danni3ll3's picture

And very happy with the crumb!

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

For a lot of things I am not a fan of Saigon cinnamon and prefer true cinnamon. But I am wondering if in a bread like this if the more peppery bitter notes wouldn't work well. How were the review, yours and others?

Danni3ll3's picture

since I have regular store bought cinnamon, the Saigon and true cinnamon in the house. The regular was quite bitter, the Saigon was definitely milder and the true cinnamon had no bitterness at all. I stuck with the Saigon since that’s what the recipe called for and I really wanted the cinnamon flavour to come through. The true cinnamon was so mild that I probably would have needed quite a bit of it and since cinnamon is a yeast inhibitor, more is not a good thing. 

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Thanks for the info and detailed explanation - I appreciate it!

Elsie_iu's picture

I've been shying away from adding cinnamon to dough for its antimicrobial property as well. Yours came out so well I can no longer resist doing so! I only have cassia cinnamon on hand so it'll be what going into my bread. I'd probably prefer it to Ceylon and Saigon cinnamon as it's spicier, even if people consider it "inferior". This bread shouldn't need additional sweetness anyway. 

Did you find the dough taking longer to rise than usual? It's been long since I put cinnamon in bread dough that I want to know what to expect before re-attempting this.

Danni3ll3's picture

if it took longer because Maurizio uses less levain than I usually use; 180 g rather than my usual 250 g. So that and the cinnamon as well as my lower final dough temp might account for the extra time compared to last week’s loaf which was also 30% whole unsifted grain. Last week’s bulk was 3 hours whereas this week, it took a full 5.25 hours before I deemed it ready to divide. Maurizio said his dough was ready in 4 hours, mine certainly was not at that point. 

Elsie_iu's picture

That doesn't sound like a great impart... I'll do my own experiment and see how it turns out. 

dabrownman's picture

The mixer works great and it sure is easier than slap and folds for this much dough but you miss the workout and have to go to the gym too:-)  It has to taste perfect after toasting and buttering!  The customers will be pleased for sure.  Well done and happy baking Danni!

Danni3ll3's picture

I do Pilates 4 days a week and I walk 6.5 km most days for exercise so the arm workout, I can do without. ? Now, I just need to stop eating so much so I can drop the extra 15 lbs I put on since I started making bread. ?

Isand66's picture

i will have to try this one for my wife.  She's a big cinnamon raisin fan.  Love the bourbon soaked raisin idea.

Happy Baking!


Danni3ll3's picture

idea from a recipe of Dabrownman. I since have been soaking all Raisins for muffins and other baking in bourbon. They are sooo good! 

MTloaf's picture

I'm going to try that recipe soon. Was wondering what to do with the leftover raisin infused bourbon ;-)

Danni3ll3's picture

muffins or fruitcake! Or you could serve it on ice! ?

alfanso's picture

And your detailed walk through and final results of the hundreds of loaves, maybe thousands per week that you bake, is quite helpful.  This is hardly as much a bread as it is a dessert course.  And of course it makes for marvelous toast in the morning as well.

I used plain old supermarket cinnamon, but I do love the smell and taste of it in the bread.  The raisins make the entire affair taste so sweet.



Danni3ll3's picture

but hundreds or thousands??? I bake 12 only, thank goodness! I wouldn’t have a life otherwise and I am enjoying retirement way too much to do anything that resembles a job (well, except when I sub as a principal on occasion and then the money makes it worth it). 

You should try it with the bourbon and the Saigon Cinnamon.