Renewing your spirit one bite at a time

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread


sourdough cinnamon swirl bread

Experience the festive magic of my Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread, a delightful spin on my original Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls recipe – soft, subtly sweet, and irresistibly festive!

While the unique method gives them a stunning Christmas wreath appearance, the rich, slightly sweet dough is crafted with a sweet stiff starter, ensuring a delectable taste without the typical sourdough tang.

Perfect for holiday table centerpieces or creating cherished Christmas morning memories, these wreaths offer a delicious blend of tradition and culinary artistry. Elevate your celebrations with the perfect harmony of flavor and presentation!

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread

What is a sweet stiff sourdough starter?

A sweet stiff sourdough starter is a type of sourdough starter that is characterized by its low hydration and sweetness. Stiff starters typically have around 50% hydration or less, which makes them thicker and more dough-like in texture. The sweetness comes from the sugar and the natural fermentation process of the starter, which produces sugars that give the dough a sweet flavor.

How to make a sweet stiff sourdough starter:

  1. To a clean jar add 50 grams (1/4 cup) of active sourdough starter.
  2. Add 100 grams (slightly less than 1/2 cup) of water and stir.
  3. Next, add 50 grams (1/4 cup) of sugar and 120 (1 cup) grams of all-purpose flour.
  4. Stir until everything is combined, and the starter should double in size in 8-10 hours.

Sweet stiff sourdough starters are great to use in sweet recipes where you don’t want the sourdough tang to overpower the flavor. They also produce a denser texture, which is lovely in sweet recipes. The best part about it, is it still holds all that wonderful gut nutrition!

Any leftover sweet starter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week and used in various sweet discard recipes!

For more information on sweet stiff starters, make sure to check out my article here.

sweet sourdough starter

Optional toppings for your sourdough cinnamon swirl bread

While I will be providing a simple glaze recipe to top your cinnamon swirl bread, feel free to get creative. Here are some other options:

  • Cream cheese glaze
  • Maple glaze
  • Lemon glaze
  • Cinnamon sugar dusting
  • Simple powdered sugar dusting
  • Almond Glaze
  • Vanilla Icing

You can also keep this delicious bread as is as the dough and cinnamon filling is beyond delightful on its own!

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Tips before baking

  • This is an overnight recipe where the dough will be made in the evening and baked the next morning. However, you can make the dough, allow it to proof, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
  • In this recipe, I use coconut sugar versus brown sugar as this makes the finished product less sweet. Depending on your “sweetness” scale feel free to use any sugar you’d like and add a little extra if desired!
  • Ensure your sweet stiff starter has doubled in size before using it, I typically make the starter in the morning to be ready by the evening. Alternatively, if you would like to mix the dough in the morning, you can make the sweet starter the evening before.
  • This is an 8-10 hour bulk rise at room temperature (68 degrees F). You may need more or less time depending on the temperature of your environment.
sourdough cinnamon swirl bread

How to make sourdough cinnamon swirl bread

Baker’s schedule option 1:
  • Make the sweet stiff starter the morning of, and mix the dough in the evening (around 7 pm) to bake for the following morning.
Baker’s schedule option 2:
  • Make the sweet stiff starter the evening before you mix the dough. Mix the dough in the morning, allow to proof, refrigerate overnight, and shape & bake the following morning.

Ingredients:

For the sweet stiff starter

  • 50 grams active sourdough starter
  • 100 grams water
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 120 grams of all-purpose flour

Dough

  • 360 grams (3 cups) of all-purpose flour
  • 84 grams (6 tablespoons) of unsalted butter (melted)
  • 100 grams (1/2 a cup) of sweet stiff starter from above
  • 1 large egg
  • 160 grams (2/3 cup) of milk
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) of sugar
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) of salt
  • for the eggwash: 1 beaten egg

The Cinnamon Filling

  • 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter (not melted)
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)

The Glaze

  • 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

You will need:

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Mix the dough

*Ensure your sweet starter has doubled in size before mixing the dough*

  • Plan your sweet starter mixing time according to the baker’s schedule (above), ensuring it has 8-10 hours to rise. Select a convenient time frame that aligns with your schedule.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter up on low and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled add the mixture to a mixing bowl and dissolve your sweet starter and the sugar in the mixture by mixing it with a fork.
  • Next, add your egg, flour, and salt. Mix with a silicone spatula for best results.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
sourdough cinnamon swirl bread dough

Knead the dough

  • If you have a stand mixer, by all means, use it! You can knead the dough on low to medium for 6-8 minutes. Though, the dough can be kneaded by hand for 8-10 minutes or until it is less sticky and more structured.
  • When kneading by hand, use your silicone scraper to assist with dough sticking to the work surface and small amounts of flour to help with the stickiness.
  • Place it in a bowl coated with butter, cover it, and let it rest for 8-10 hours.
  • Optional: perform 1 stretch and fold an hour into the bulk rise (this helps with a better overall rise).
sourdough cinnamon swirl bread kneaded dough

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Roll out the dough

  • When the dough is ready to be shaped, divide it into 3 equal balls. This is best achieved by weighing your dough. My dough was around 820 grams. Therefore, each dough ball was roughly 273 grams each.
When the dough is ready to be shaped, divide it into 3 equal balls. This is best achieved by weighing your dough. My dough was around 820 grams. Therefore, each dough ball was roughly 273 grams each.
  • Roll each dough ball into a 15×6-inch rectangle. Tip: lightly flour your rolling pin to avoid sticking.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with cooled melted butter. I find this helps the mixture spread better.
Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with cooled melted butter. I find this helps the mixture spread better.

Make the cinnamon filling

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use your silicone spatula to mix the softened butter by itself. Once a creamy texture, add the cinnamon, sugar, and coconut sugar and mix well. Tip: add a teaspoon of melted butter to the mixture to help soften it a bit if needed.
  • Using your silicone spatula or spoon, begin to spread the mixture on the dough.
Using your silicone spatula or spoon, begin to spread the mixture on the dough.

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread: Shape the dough

  • Starting from the long side begin to roll the dough tightly, pressing down lightly on each roll. Once fully rolled, make sure the roll is seam-side down.
  • Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough down the center leaving an inch of dough still connected at the top.
  • Gently braid the two strands one over top of the other until you get to the end.
  • Then, bring the ends together and pinch them together to form a wreath.
Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread - formed shape
  • Repeat with the remaining dough balls and place them on a lightly greased, parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and allow the wreaths to rest for 1-2 hours or until puffed up.
Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Brush and Bake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and gently coat the wreaths with the egg wash (if you would like a softer dough you can skip the egg wash, however, you may not get that golden brown color).
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  • While the sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is cooling for about 5-10 minutes, make your glaze.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, milk, & vanilla extract. Stir until combined, drizzle on your swirl bread, and enjoy!
  • These are best enjoyed the day of, but you can store them on your countertop in an airtight container for 2 days or up to a week in your refrigerator.
cinnamon swirl sourdough bread

More sourdough recipes:

sourdough cinnamon swirl bread
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread

These irresistible cinnamon swirl sourdough bread wreaths are not only delicious, but make a beautiful centerpiece on any holiday table!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time35 minutes
Proofing time14 hours
Course: Dessert
Servings: 3 wreaths
Calories: 360kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Bench scraper
  • Silicone Scraper
  • Large baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling Pin
  • Silicone saptula
  • Food scale

Ingredients

For the sweet stiff starter

  • 50 grams active sourdough starter
  • 100 grams water
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 120 grams all-purpose flour

For the dough

  • 360 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 84 grams (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter melted
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) sweet stiff starter from above
  • 1 large egg
  • 160 grams (2/3 cup) milk
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 beaten egg for the egg wash

For the cinnamon filling

  • 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (not melted)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

For the glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

Make the dough & Knead

  • Plan your sweet starter mixing time according to the baker's schedule (see notes), ensuring it has 8-10 hours to rise. Select a convenient time frame that aligns with your schedule.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter up on low and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled add the mixture to a mixing bowl and dissolve your sweet starter & the sugar in the mixture by mixing it with a fork.
  • Next, add your egg, flour, and salt. Mix with a silicone spatula for best results.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, knead the dough into a smooth ball (8-10 minutes).
  • Place the dough in a generously coated buttered bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest (8-10 hours).

Roll out the dough

  • When the dough is ready to be shaped, divide it into 3 equal balls. This is best achieved by weighing your dough. My dough was around 820 grams. Therefore, each dough ball was roughly 273 grams each.
  • Roll each dough ball into a 15×6-inch rectangle. Tip: lightly flour your rolling pin to avoid sticking.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the dough with cooled melted butter. I find this helps the mixture spread better.

Make & spread the cinnamon roll filling

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use your silicone spatula to mix the softened butter by itself. Once a creamy texture, add the cinnamon, sugar, and coconut sugar and mix well. Tip: add a teaspoon of melted butter to the mixture to help soften it a bit if needed.
  • Using your silicone spatula or spoon, begin to spread the mixture on the dough.

Shape the dough

  • Starting from the long side begin to roll the dough tightly, pressing down lightly on each roll. Once fully rolled, make sure the roll is seam-side down.
  • Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough down the center leaving an inch of dough still connected at the top.
  • Gently braid the two strands one over top of the other until you get to the end.
  • Then, bring the ends together and pinch them together to form a wreath.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough balls and place them on a lightly greased, parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and allow the wreaths to rest for 1-2 hours or until puffed up.

Brush and Bake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and gently coat the wreaths with the egg wash (if you would like a softer dough you can skip the egg wash, however, you may not get that golden brown color).
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  • While the sourdough cinnamon swirl bread is cooling for about 5-10 minutes, make your glaze.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, milk, & vanilla extract. Stir until combined, drizzle on your swirl bread, and enjoy!
  • These are best enjoyed the day of, but you can store them on your countertop in an airtight container for 2 days or up to a week in your refrigerator.

Notes

Baker’s schedule option 1:
    • Make the sweet stiff starter the morning of, and mix the dough in the evening (around 7 pm) to bake for the following morning.
Baker’s schedule option 2:
    • Make the sweet stiff starter the evening before you mix the dough. Mix the dough in the morning, allow to proof, refrigerate overnight, and shape & bake the following morning.
Sweet starter: ensure your sweet starter has doubled in size before baking with it. 
*Any leftover sweet starter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week and used in various sweet discard recipes!
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1wreath | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 400mg

If you liked this “Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread” article, you may also like my Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls (soft & not too sweet!) article.

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Comments

  1. What a festive idea. I had the pleasure of tasting these. Very yummy!!!5 stars

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Laurie! So glad you enjoyed 🙂