Sourdough Raisin Bread

This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!

This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!

Bread is my weakness. Basically, it’s that one thing that I couldn’t live without. If you know me professionally, you know that I am OBSESSED with baking bread, experimenting with different flavors and creating new recipes just because I can.

I get emotionally invested in it. In brief, it’s a little freakish.

Fortunately my boyfriend has been shielded from this creative process and just sees the resulting loaves, so he still finds it charming. 😅

This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!

This sourdough raisin bread is one of my favorite experiments.

Do not leave me alone with this bread. To be sure it is not safe. My waistline is not safe.

To rephrase it, this bread’s soft, tender, buttery crumb is bordering on the obscene. What’s more, every single bite is packed full of raisins for a hint of sweetness that balances perfectly with the light sourdough flavor.

This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!

There is a lot going on here in this seemingly simple childhood favorite.

There are two different types of pre-ferments in this dough. Huh? What? To clarify, I’ll roll that back for the class. Pre-fermentation just means starting the natural fermentation process of yeast a head of time.

  • Sourdough starter is one type of pre-ferment. Clearly this is a preferment that has been going on for weeks, years, even decades!
  • The second type of preferment in this recipe is a sponge. A sponge uses a portion of the flour in the recipe and all the yeast and water. In this recipe the sponge also has honey and the sourdough starter too! The sponge’s job is just to give the yeast a kickstart. It adds a bit of depth of flavor but mostly just shortens the whole process.

Take all that flavor and add in some…butter! Oh, yes, this wonderful bread is a brioche! The butter adds a soft, richness to the dough. It also makes the crust soft!

This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!

In addition to all that this sourdough raisin bread is PACKED full of raisins. A full pound of raisins in two loaves. Because I hate when a bread promises to be a raisin bread and then half the bites don’t have raisins and the raisins fall out of the other half of the bites.

In case you aren’t a bread eating champion like me, this makes fabulous French toast, bread pudding, or you can toast it with some cinnamon sugar and butter for an afternoon snack like my Mom used to do!

This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!
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This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!

Sourdough Raisin Bread

  • Author: Lindsey
  • Total Time: 5 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


This Sourdough Raisin Bread is soft, chewy, buttery and packed full of raisins in every bite!



Liquid Levain:

  • 147 g Water
  • 12 g Starter
  • 117 g AP Flour


  • 226 g AP Flour
  • 296 g Water (90°F)
  • 65 g Honey
  • 3 g Dry active yeast
  • 230 g Starter


  • 311 g AP Flour
  • 40 g Dry milk powder
  • 15 g Salt
  • 130 g Butter (cold, cubed)
  • 454 g Raisins


Prepare your liquid levain:

  1. 12-14 hours before you want to mix your dough. Prepare the liquid levain. If you are already maintaining a liquid levain then you will feed it as normal with the proportions above. If you are maintaining a stiff levain (1:1 ratio of flour to water), then you will make a separate starter for this recipe the night before. There 25% more water in this recipe than you starter. Fear not. All will be fine.
  2. Note: This amount is a bit more than the recipe because starter like to stick to containers, to spatulas, to your hand, and you don’t want to be short what is needed in the recipe. Plus you also need 10g to feed for tomorrow! Gotta keep that starter going!
  3. In a clean container, mix AP flour, water and yesterday’s culture (starter). Cover it up. Let it sit out at room temperature until it doubles! Pour yourself a glass of wine and get excited for the bread you’re going to eat tomorrow!

Prepare the sponge:

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast with water and honey. Whisk to make sure there are no lumps of yeast in the water. Stir in the sponge portion of the flour and all the starter.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm humid place until the sponge bubbles and makes large cracks in the flour.

Prepare the dough:

  1. Scrape the contents of the sponge bowl into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the remaining flour, salt and milk powder to the bowl and mix on low to incorporate the ingredients. When a shaggy mass forms and there are no visible dry pieces of flour, change to the hook attachment.
  2. Increase speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and passes the window pane test meaning you can pull a piece of dough thin enough that light passes through it.
  3. Add the butter and mix on medium to incorporate. Then add the raisins and mix on low until distributed throughout and are mostly inside the dough.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2, 790g portions.
  7. Preshape into a boule (round). Bench rest 10 minutes.
  8. Final shape into a log and place in greased baking dish.
  9. Proof in a warm, humid place until they have doubled in size and feel light and airy to touch.
  10. Bake in preheated oven until a thermometer reads 186°F. Cool 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely
  • Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes

Keywords: sourdough, raisin bread, sourdough raisin bread

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear all about it! 🥳 Tag me on Instagram @cheflindseyfarr and use the hashtag #americanheritagecooking

Up for more sourdough?!

Basic Sourdough Bread Tutorial
With this easy to follow sourdough starter recipe you can be making fresh sourdough bread from your own starter in just five days!


  • David @ Spiced
    May 5, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I love that you gave this recipe in grams! I know bread recipes are typically in weights, but it feels like America just haven’t gotten on board with that yet. I always bake in grams myself…my kitchen scale is my best friend! Also, raisin bread is a favorite. And then to put a sourdough spin on it? I’ll eat that loaf – if you don’t eat it first, that is. Also, your boyfriend is no longer shielded as you just admitted your secret to the whole world. Oops.

    • Lindsey
      May 6, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Fortunately he doesn’t actually read my posts…or I think he would have had something to say about that wedding dress reference in my sourdough starter post! lol If you saw all the comments about “How dare I, as a blogger whose site has American Heritage in the name, and as an American, give recipes in grams!? Merica.” Accuracy is everything. I stand firm!

  • […] « Sourdough Raisin Bread […]

  • Sarah
    December 19, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    5 stars
    Exactly what I was looking for, thank you! Turned out perfect!!!! Can’t wait to try your Irish soda bread!

    • Lindsey
      December 21, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Thank you, Sarah! I’m biased but it’s the best! Happy baking!


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