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Cinnamon and raisin sourdough babka


I love sourdough bread, not only is it delicious but it is easier to digest so it is better for you. The longer process involved in making it allows the gluten to start breaking down in the proofing process and it makes you feel less stuffed when eating it.

The sourdough process and journey is a story in itself for another post but having a starter and keeping it alive is almost like having a pet. It also means you have to keep feeding it and using it so it’s important to find different recipes and ways to utilize it.

Babka caught my interest from watching the sitcom Seinfeld where it was a focus of one episode. Originally we had the chocolate babka but we quickly took more of a liking to a cinnamon version, especially with the raisins.

When it comes out of the oven on a Sunday morning it usually quickly disappears even with people who claim to avoid bread and baked goods. It just smells heavenly and tastes as good.

It does take a little planning as I usually take the starter out and feed it for a day to get it really active. The next day I make an active starter in the morning and start mixing the dough in the afternoon and into the fridge in the evening. The next morning – day 3 – it comes out in the morning. The babka gets made and gets about 1 hour to proof and another hour to bake. While it seems like a long process, the actual work is minimal so a good thing to do while you have other things going on around the house. You can always make 2 or more and freeze some.

When baking it I often start it with a foil tent over the top to avoid browning it too much and remove it the last 15-20 minutes.

Cinnamon raisin sourdough babka

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Recipe by admin

Prep time

Cooking time



Total time




  • 120 gr 120 active sourdough starter

  • 40 gr 40 water finger warm

  • 25 gr 25 honey

  • 100 gr 100 bread flour

  • Main dough
  • 1 batch 1 poolish/starter dough from above

  • 100 gr 100 milk

  • 100 gr 100 butter

  • 2 ea 2 eggs

  • 25 gr 25 honey

  • 320 gr 320 bread flour

  • 7 gr 7 sea salt

  • Filling
  • 60 gr 60 butter

  • 100 gr 100 brown sugar

  • 20 gr 20 honey

  • 15 gr 15 cinnamon

  • 15 gr 15 AP flour

  • 10 gr 10 water

  • 50 gr 50 raisins

  • Glaze
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 sugar

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 water


  • Mix starter with water and honey, add flour and mix into a wet dough. Let the dough start fermenting for 1-2 hours in a warm place or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Melt the butter and add the milk to make the mixture finger warm and mix with the poolish/dough starter. Mix in the honey and eggs then fold in the flour to make a rough dough, let the dough stand 30-60 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.
  • Sprinkle the salt over the dough.
  • Wet your hands and fold the dough over itself then rotate bowl 1/4 turn. Repeat 3 times, wetting your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Let the dough rest 30-60 minutes
  • Repeat step 4 another 3-4 times. The dough will start getting smother and less sticky.
    Wrap the dough in a bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-12 hours (overnight). The dough will slowly proof/rise.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on floured work table with rolling pin to a rectangle measuring 14X18 inches.
    Melt the butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon, flour and water in the microwave and mix well into a paste. Warm the raisins with 2 Tbs water for 30 seconds in microwave.
  • Spread the cinnamon mix over the dough evenly to within 1 inch of the edge and sprinkle with the raisins.
    Roll the dough into a sausage so it is 18 inches.
    Cut down the middle of the dough roll the long way so you have 2 strips leaving them attached at one end.
    With the cut ends up, twist/braid the dough together, pushing and shaping with your hands as you go.
    Place the twisty roll in a 9X5 bread pan, 3 inch high lined with parchment paper.
    Place the bread pan with the dough in a loose plastic bag with plenty of air around it and close the bag. Place the bag in a warm place to proof/rise for 60 minutes until the dough doubles in size.
  • Take the pan out of the bag and place in a preheated 350 oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes, using foil to cover the top if it starts to brown too much. You want internal temperature to be 195 degrees.
  • Remove babka from the oven, bring the sugar and water to a boil creating a syrup. Brush the babka with the syrup and pour the rest over to give it a nice glaze and keep it from drying out.

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