Soaked Whole Wheat & Cinnamon Raisin Bread

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The conversation usually starts as I load ten pounds of pastured butter into my cart.

Soon, the small butter talk turns to backyard chickens, homemade make-up, and raw milk.  By the end of the conversation, the kind shopper once intrigued by butter, is convinced I live life from a chapter of The Little House on the Prairie.

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Trust me, fellow shopper, our life is far from Little House.

I use a washing machine. It’s true. And the hard-working machine I dearly call “the dryer” is one of my best friends. Long flowing skirts are far from my normal attire. Hello, yoga pants. But, the deal breaker in all of this comes down to one little word. The “B” word.


Here’s the truth.  I don’t bake my own bread. The one thing every all-natural, homesteading mommy should spend countless hours making for her family.

The last couple years, I’ve been delightfully satisfied with a local baker’s artisan bread . I look forward to waking early on Saturday morning to visit the farmer’s market and the booth where my favorite baker sets up shop. The organic sourdough selections stacked neatly on top of each other. Who needs to spend hours in the kitchen making homemade bread when warm loaves are awaiting every Saturday morning.


Sadly, last month, I had to say “good-bye” to my Saturday morning stops at the baker’s booth. The expense of $6 a loaf is more than my new monthly budget can handle.

With a bread-loving three year-old and three other humans to satisfy with a daily ration of gluten, I’ve turned to my kitchen and fully embraced the art of bread making. Embraced life “on the prairie”, modern day yoga-pant-style.



This whole wheat bread is soaked to make it easier to digest and nourishing for the body. Soaking grains breaks down the phytic acid allowing for easier digestion. In fact, many people who can’t tolerate bread made with wheat, can tolerate soaked grains, making for a happier gut. Read more about soaking grains here.  The end result is an easy-to-make bread that’s fluffy and light, perfect for toast, sandwiches, french toast, or perfectly sliced with a big slab of pastured butter.


Note: This recipe makes two loaves of bread. I make one a basic sandwich bread and the other Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

4.86 from 7 votes

Soaked Whole Wheat & Cinnamon Raisin Bread

The end result is an easy-to-make bread that’s fluffy and light, perfect for toast, sandwiches, french toast, or perfectly sliced with a big slab of pastured butter.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Raisin Bread
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 5641 kcal
Author Kristin Marr


Cinnamon Raisin Bread:


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a standard bowl using a wooden spoon), combine the milk, water, vinegar, and flour (one cup at a time). The dough should be sticky and a bit stiff. Cover the bowl with a towel. Allow to sit overnight 12-24 hours.
  2. After soaking the dough, add the honey, salt, and yeast to the flour mixture. Attach the dough hook and knead dough for 8-10 minutes. Depending on the flour, you may need a 1/2 cup more to reach a stiff, workable dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with a towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours. The dough will double in size.
  4. Once doubled in size, gently punch down and form the dough into two equal balls.
  5. For sandwich bread: Using a rolling pin, roll one ball into a rectangular shape. Roll the flatttened dough into a loaf and place in a buttered bread pan.
  6. For cinnamon raisin bread: Using a rolling pin, roll one ball into a rectangular shape Spread the flattened dough with honey, sprinkle with 2-3 teaspoons (depending on preference) of cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of raisins. Roll the flattened dough into a loaf and place in a buttered bread pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  8. Cover the pans with a towel and allow to rise as the oven preheats (30 minutes.)
  9. Bake for 40 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Makes 2 loaves of bread.


Recipe inspired and adapted from The Earthbound Cookbook by Myra Goodman

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  • So incredibly beautiful! Why you haven’t been baking bread, I haven’t a clue – you obviously have a real talent for it. As this loaf looks amazing! I am going to have to get on the bandwagon and get my gf-bread-making game on. You are making me drool on my keyboard!! 🙂

  • 5 stars
    This looks great Kristen. My family absolutely LOVES your overnight cinnamon rolls so I’m definitely trying this! And I’m with you on not baking my own bread. I used to when I first got into healthy living, but got away from it as I had more kids… besides it being time consuming. Now with needing to soak grains… I’ve just not gotten on board with it although I really want to. I suppose it’s like anything else in life… I need to prioritize and work on being more productive. Plus getting my little helpers involved! Thanks!!

    • Thanks, Meagan. I got out of the bread baking too, the reason I haven’t been making any. But, now, that I’m back into it, it’s been pretty easy. The kids like helping too. The soaking I’ve found has really helped our digestion too.

  • So the next morning, I just sprinkle the yeast on the dough along with honey and salt? Or do I need to add the yeast to additional warm water first to activate it?? Trying this for the first time today! Thanks!!

    • Hi Alecia, Just sprinkle the yeast, honey, and salt over the soaked dough and knead by hand or with your mixer and bread hook. The yeast will work its way through the dough. No need to proof it in water :).

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  • Do you soak on the counter overnight or put it in the fridge because of the milk? Would this differ I I only have acces to organic or almond milk and not raw?

  • What are your thoughts on converting this to a bread machine recipe? The time commitment has always been rough for me, and I never get dough kneaded as well with a stand mixer as my Zojirushi does, especially with whole wheat flour. Think I could soak it and then put it in the bread machine?

    • Hi, I have a Zojirushi too, but haven’t tried this particular bread in my Zojirushi. I think it would work great, just soak first and finish off with kneading and rising and baking in the bread machine. Let me know how it goes.

  • I’ve wanted to try soaking grains, but I just can’t get past leaving the milk out all night! Are you sure it would work with regular store bought milk? Organic, but pasteurized and homogenized.

    • Hey Jessica, I was scared to leave milk out at first. As long as it’s mixed with an acidic medium (whey, vinegar, lemon juice) it is just fine, as long as it doesn’t exceed the 24 hour mark, even if it’s pasteurized and homogenized. I believe this recipe would also work well with water vs. the milk, so you could also try subbing 1 cup water instead of the milk. Then soak accordingly.

  • I tried this recipe a couple of weeks ago & it didn’t turn out for me. The bread never rose well so it was pretty dense and didn’t taste great. I am not sure what I did wrong.

    • Hi Lisa, sounds like something went wrong with the yeast. Possibly a bad batch of yeast. An active yeast will cause the dough to rise and produce a light and fluffy wheat bread. The dough should double, nearly triple in size after the rising, about an hour after adding the yeast. Without the yeast properly working, the bread will be dense and effect the overall taste.

    • Hey Cindy, I’ve used spelt, whole white wheat, whole wheat, and played around with einkorn. Einkorn is a bit sticky and tricky, but all the flours work great in this recipe. The flour needs to contain gluten for this recipe. Did you have a particular flour in mind?

  • Thank you for answering me so quickly. I’m attempting this for the first time tonight. I’ve made bread machine bread but this is a whole new level of homemade baking for me. My parents are driving 12 hours to spend Thanksgiving with my family so I’m hoping to impress them with some homemade bread. I’m super nervous but ready for the challenge. Thanks for providing the help and recipe!

  • I’m pretty intimidated to start baking my own bread because I wouldn’t classify myself as a “baker.” But I think I have to try this. How long did it take you to get into the routine of making bread on a weekly basis?

    • Hey Holly, At first baking bread took some time to get used to. I must admit, I still on occasion purchase bread at the market or natural food store, but when I’m in a routine I find baking bread becomes part of the schedule of things to do. Generally, I’ll bake four loaves on a Sunday and then cut each one in half, freezing each half. I find this works well for our family.

  • This is my first time making yeast bread. Yeast has always deterred me because it sound so temperamental. I cook for one so a two loaf recipe is a bit much, so I thought to just freeze one. No big deal except for deciding between the whole grain and the cinnamon raisin. So, I decided to make two hybrid loafs. Both are half whole grain and half cinnamon raisin. They are in the oven now and I am very excited to see how/ if it turns out!

  • Hi, I live in the desert so I had to add about an ounce more water to the soak and bake it for slightly less time. It turned out wonderful! I’ve never made whole wheat bread that raised so well and was so soft and fluffy! Thank you so much!

    • Hey Bethany! I’m so happy to hear your bread was a success!! Thank you so much for sharing the desert tip, I know that will help future readers/bakers. Enjoy the fresh bread :).

  • Hi Kristin!
    What if I use water to soak my WW Flour and life happens and it soaks for longer than 24 hours before I make the bread? It soaked for 28 hours before I put it in the fridge and I was hoping it wouldn’t be ruined if I made it the next day..? It doesn’t smell funky to me..

  • I am baking this bread right now! How many cups of flour do you usually add to the mix? I have added over 4.5 cups and it is not sticky, but looks dry. Thank you! I hope it turns out.

    • Hey Caitlin, I usually add just enough flour so the dough is easy to handle, but not too dry. This amount varies a bit each time I make bread. If it’s too dry (the dough) you can add a tablespoon of water at at time during the kneading process. Let me know how it goes!

  • 5 stars
    This looks delightful! I’m getting hungry! I just recently gave away my bread machine. 🙁 I have been trying to get into bread making for a couple of years now. I love it, but none of my recipes “work” and my husband complains that it’s too dense. He prefers the light, fluffy, store-bought bread. I really do want to try this recipe, though…hmmm…Raisin bread is usually more dense than “sandwich” bread.

    • Hey Monique, I know exactly what he means…whole wheat can be so dense. I really like soaking wheat for bread since it seems to soften the wheat (like this recipe). I also love einkorn for bread-making since it’s more like white flour in taste and texture, but it’s an ancient whole grain. I plan to share a few bread recipes for einkorn in 2016.

  • I have everything but the apple cider vinegar. Do you think white vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice can be substituted?

  • 5 stars
    I love this recipe so much. It’s become a staple in our house. We had cut out bread for health reasons, but we are on board with this soaked grains version. Thank you!!

  • I am excited about trying this recipe, but I feel like I missed something. Do you literally soak the dough, or is the process of allowing it to sit for so long called “soaking”?

  • Whoa Mama! This was an amazing recipe! I only have one Loaf pan, so I made 2 longer loaves in a glass 8×11 pan, and it came out wonderfully. I would post my pic, but I don’t know how.

    Thanks! Can’t wait to share with my 1-year old daughter.

  • This recipe looks gorgeous and I really want to try it! However I was just wondering if the soaking of the bread will not be suitable for the kind of hot, tropical climate that I live in. It can get really hot, up to around 34 degrees Celsius where I live. Do you think that the soaking the bread will still be okay to do? Thank you so much!

  • Thanks, Kristin. Do you wrap it in parchment paper and then put in a bag? My husband is not a big fan of freezer food so anything I can do to ease the process…. 🙂 Bread is in my mixer now. Hoping it turns out!!

    • Hey Lisa, Yes, parchment paper helps. If you’re okay with plastic wrap or foil (they can serve a good purpose for freezing), they are best to keep the freezer burn out of the food. Then, place the bag in the freezer. I also like to cut the loaves the half before wrapping and storing them in the bag (and freezer).

  • Hi–I have always wanted to try baking bread but have been intimidated. This recipe is encouraging me to give it a try. One question. In steps 5 or 6, you say “Roll the flatttened dough into a loaf and place in a buttered bread pan.” if it’s flattened, how do you roll it into a loaf? Thanks!

  • Hi! I’m making this bread right now, so just starting the soaking process. I added the correct amount of liquids as outlined in the recipe and the 5 1/2 c of whole wheat flour. My mixer couldn’t get it all mixed! It’s super dry and crumbly and there’s about a half cup of stuff that just can’t seem to get incorporated into the rest. What did I do wrong? Can I fix it or is it ruined? Thanks! I’m anxious to try this and start using homemade bread instead of store-bought.

    • Hey Mary, I would add more liquid (milk or water) until the dough is soft and pliable. Next time you may need to start with only 4 1/2 cups of flour and work your way up to the amount needed for your flour, based on the feel and look of the dough. Let me know how it goes.

    • Hey Kathleen, That’s a great question! I think you could. I’m not sure if you’d need to adjust the amount of flour needed–you could try the amount in the recipe and then add more based on how the dough looks/feels. Let me know if you try it!

      Also, I’m glad you asked this–I’m going to add an einkorn cinnamon roll recipe to my list for the late summer/early fall!

  • I made this bread and both varieties (sandwich and cinnamon raisin) are delicious! I didn’t have whole milk so I used 2% and it still turned out great. My son (who was not happy about moving towards homemade or whole wheat) asked for a second slice of the cinnamon raisin bread!

  • 4 stars
    This is a promising recipe, especially for 100% whole wheat. One minor issue: with just a towel covering the dough, the top of the dough gets dried out. I think the dough seemed about the right consistency of stickiness while holding together.

    I wonder if it would help to use a damp towel.

    Also, it seems like you really need to roll the dough fairly thin and wide to get good distribution of raisins and cinnamon.

  • So excited to try this. Couple of questions… when I made the initial dough it was very dry so I only put in 5 cups of flour. I wasn’t worried because I know that as it soaks it gets more pliable. However in the morning when I added the honey it was extremely sticky and wet. I added another 1/4 cup or so. Should the dough be tacky Or firm? I didn’t want to add too much flour especially since the point is to soak the grains. The loaves held their shape but they were very delicate and more droopy than what I’ve done in the past.

    Also should the shaped loaves double in the 30 minutes or just get kind of puffy? Past recipes rise for an hour and get above the pan so I wasn’t sure if maybe they just puff up while baking?

    Thanks so much for the recipes! Love good whole foods to share with the family and the idea of soaking the grains is amazing!

    • Hey Elle, It should be firm but also slightly sticky. You can flour your hands or wet them to help with handling the dough. They should rise slightly, nothing too puffy.

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