No-Knead Crusty Cranberry Nut Bread

No-knead super crusty, soft, and EASY bread made in the dutch oven! Filled with dried cranberries and walnuts, the bread is delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s a recipe you’re going to memorize.

And I’m not saying that because it’s so simple. I’m saying it because it’s an unbelievably and awesomely delicious homemade bread with a major crust, a soft and chewy texture, and plenty of irresistible nuts and dried cranberries to keep each piece interesting and unique. You won’t be able to stop making it. You won’t be able to stop eating it. And, as such, you’ll memorize it before the year’s over.

I’ve made this no-knead bread 4x within 2 weeks and I’m not even a bread person. But it MADE ME A BREAD PERSON. Not sure if that’s a bad thing? Thank god we can hide under chunky sweaters and Thanksgiving pants for awhile.

No-knead super crusty, soft, and EASY bread made in the dutch oven! Filled with dried cranberries and walnuts, the bread is delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

“Homemade bread” and “easy” are terms that don’t typically go hand-in-hand. When you think of homemade bread, you get pretty freaked out, right? Seems like a terrible idea, majorly complicated, and a general waste of time. No thanks. This recipe will completely change that universal thought. I realize that’s a pretty big promise, but I’m confident your perception of homemade bread will switch from “too fancy schmancy” to “wow, I can do this.”

This bread’s got all the bells and whistles and takes zero effort to make.

The general plan:

  1. Stir 5 ingredients together. Don’t even break out your mixer.
  2. Stir in extras like chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.
  3. Shape into a ball and leave it alone for a day.
  4. Kick up your feet and don’t knead the dough.
  5. Score an X on top of the dough and bake it.
  6. You’re done.

The 5 ingredients include kitchen staples like flour, salt, and honey. You’ll also need a little warm water to bring all the ingredients together and activate the yeast. For the yeast, we’re using Red Star Platinum, my favorite. Don’t be nervous– yeast doesn’t bite, I promise. 🙂 It’s just another ingredient you’re adding.

Red Star Yeast - Platinum

This whole no-work, no-knead, professional-bread-at-home concept has swarmed the internet and after some research, I found it originally came from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. It’s all very basic ingredients, which I mentioned before, but his method is unique, which includes an 18 hour rise time. 18 hours?! Yes! Don’t be nervous, this 18 hours gives the dough a chance to ferment. And the fermentation time requires absolutely nothing from you. If you’re feeling lazy, great. This bread is for you. Just set it on your counter and forget about it until the next day. The magic happens when you’re not looking!

I added a little honey for some flavor, a little extra yeast, and a bit of flour to make up for the added liquid. Plus lots of walnuts and cranberries for interesting texture. Not that this bread needs any assistance in the texture category. It’s SO crisp and crusty. Just look at it! And that long rise time ensures an amazingly chewy texture.

How to make easy crusty no-knead bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll bake the bread in a super hot dutch oven. If you don’t have one, you can use any heavy duty pot with a lid, providing it’s oven-proof.

Why a Dutch Oven?

Baking the bread with the lid on traps steam inside the pot, creating that perfect crust. A lid is KEY to this bread recipe’s success! You won’t regret picking up a dutch oven.

No-knead super crusty, soft, and EASY bread made in the dutch oven! Filled with dried cranberries and walnuts, the bread is delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

No-knead super crusty, soft, and EASY bread made in the dutch oven! Filled with dried cranberries and walnuts, the bread is delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s so easy, you’ll be silly not to try it. And you’ll really be missing out!

Step-by-step pictures and additional tips below the recipe.

No-Knead Crusty Cranberry Nut Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour, plus more for hands
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt (I find the flavor lacking using regular table salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Star Platinum yeast (instant yeast)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) chopped nuts (I like walnuts or pecans)
  • 3/4 cup (105g) dried cranberries*
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (about 95°F (35°C))

Tools

  • 6 quart or higher dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid (lid is crucial-- see post!)

Directions:

  1. *No need to grease the bowl.* Stir the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water. The dough will be pretty sticky-- don't be tempted to add more flour-- you want a sticky dough. Gently shape into a ball as best you can. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set on the counter at room temperature (honestly any normal room temperature is fine!) and allow to rise for 12-18 hours. The dough will double in size, stick to the sides of the bowl, and be covered in air bubbles.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape into a ball as best you can. Doesn't have to be perfect! Transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper. (Large enough to fit inside your pot and one that is safe under such high heat. I use this parchment and it's never been an issue.)
  3. Using a very sharp knife, gently score an X into the top. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap and leave alone for 30 minutes.
  4. During this 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C). (Yes, very hot!) Place your dutch oven (with the lid) or heavy duty pot inside for 30 minutes so that it's extremely hot before the dough is placed inside. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and sticking it all-- the parchment paper included-- inside the pot. Cover with the lid.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes before breaking/slicing/serving.
  6. Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 week.

Make ahead tip/Freezing: The dough takes up to 18 hours to rise, so this is a wonderful recipe to begin 1 day ahead of time. You can also bake the bread, allow it to cool, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze the dough. Complete the recipe through step 2. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container. To bake, allow dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Continue with step 3 and the rest of the recipe instructions.

Recipe Notes:

Recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast, method originally from Jim Lahey

*I've been receiving a lot of questions about using whole wheat flour. I haven't tried it yet, but I expect the bread to taste quite tough. Rather, try half all-purpose and half whole wheat.

*Dried cranberries (or raisins!) are best for this wet dough. I haven't tried this bread with fresh or frozen cranberries.

*If your parchment paper can only be heated to a certain temperature, bake the bread at that temperature. Bake the bread a little longer to compensate for the lower temperature.

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Gently stir all of the ingredients together:

How to make easy crusty no-knead bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This will be a super sticky dough. Remember, do NOT be tempted to add more flour. It will stick to your hands. That’s nothing a quick wash can’t fix!

How to make easy crusty no-knead bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let the dough rise at room temperature. This recipe is very forgiving. Any normal-ish room temperature is fine. You’ll know that the dough is finished rising when it has doubled in size and air bubbles have formed on top.

How to make easy crusty no-knead bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The dough will still be super sticky after rising. That’s ok! Using lightly floured hands, form the sticky dough into a ball and place on a large piece of parchment paper. Allow to rest for 30 minutes, then score an X on top:

How to make easy crusty no-knead bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bake! Eat! Enjoy!

How to make crusty no-knead cranberry walnut bread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

Glass Mixing Bowls | Wooden Spoon | 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Dutch Oven

No-knead super crusty, soft, and EASY bread made in the dutch oven! Filled with dried cranberries and walnuts, the bread is delicious! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

227 Comments

Comments

  1. Chris on May 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Whole Wheat Hint: I use 100% whole wheat for all my breads and they are never tough or dry. The secret? Use 7/8 c whole wheat flour for every 1 c white flour. (Just measure a scant cup.) Second secret: bread is all about texture–if the recipe calls for a sticky dough, leave it that way even if you add slightly less flour than the recipe says. Humidity in the flour itself or in the air affects how much flour is needed. Don’t be afraid to go all whole grain! The breads have a richer flavor. Can’t wait to try this recipe with whole wheat! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Jan Weston on June 22, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I have made this bread several times now for out Airbnb guests and each time it gets rave reviews. It is so easy and beyond delicious. Thank you so much for this easy and scrumptious loaf.

  3. Rosemary on July 12, 2018 at 3:37 am

    I was so excited to find this recipe. I love the cranberry nut bread that is served at our favorite “special occasion” restaurant, and a slightly lighter loaf that one of the warehouse clubs sells at their bakery. I thought this recipe sounded similar, and oh so easy. It came out very disappointing because the smell and taste are both reminiscent of beer (soured). My experience with baking yeast breads is next to non-existent, so I don’t know what I did wrong. I was hoping to bake it for my 92 year old mother when I go to visit soon, so would appreciate any tips. I

    • Sally on July 12, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Rosemary! Let me try to help. You mention you haven’t baked bread much before. Did you know that yeast feeds off sugars? (In this case honey.) As it metabolizes the sugars, carbon dioxide and alcohol are released into the dough, which causes it to rise. So that could be what you are smelling. However, when baked bread taste and smell like beer or alcohol, the dough may have risen too quickly in a too warm environment. Or the dough was rising for too long. How long did you let it rise?

  4. Rosemary on July 13, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Thanks for your information about what would cause my bread to taste like beer. I put the dough in the same room where my dehumidifier was running because I thought yeast dough needed warmth to rise and the house is 73 degrees at night. I also probably left it too long, I didn’t realize that l would run into problems if it rose for too long. Next time, I’ll check for the holes in the surface at the beginning of the suggested rise times and not try for extra warmth. Thanks for your suggestions!

  5. Svitlana on July 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    thank you very much for this delicious recipe! This bread is amazing, I baked it twice already, both times we ate it right away 🙂

    • Sally on July 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      You are welcome! I’m happy you like it so much!!

  6. MARY on July 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hi Sally…I made this bread this morning and the taste is wonderful! My loaf looked exactly like yours! I wanted to ask you a question about the texture of my loaf though. It was a little too moist. My husband said it was as if the loaf was underbaked although it wasn’t. There were no flat lines of uncooked dough that you sometimes get when it’s not baked long enough. There were air bubbles throughout from top to bottom. I followed the recipe as written (using sea salt and instant yeast) and the only change I made was to add 1/2 tsp grated orange rind. I let it rise in the oven for 16 hours, baked it for 25 minutes then 6 minutes with the lid off. I used exactly the same pot pictured in your ‘shop the recipe’ section. I preheated both the oven for 30 min and then the empty pot and lid for 30 min. When I took the loaf out of the oven, the internal temp was 195 degrees and the bottom was slightly over-brown. Would you suggest a way for me to alter things so that the inside of the loaf is drier? I was thinking of cutting the amount of cranberries in the recipe to maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

    Thanks Sally!

    • Sally on July 23, 2018 at 6:52 am

      Hi Mary! Thank you so much for trying this bread recipe! I would reduce the cranberries AND reduce the oven temperature. Reducing the oven temperature down to 425°F (218°C) will definitely help cook the bread a little more evenly. Let me know if this helps!

  7. Mary on July 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for the advice, Sally…do you think I should increase the baking time at the lower temperature to make sure it bakes through?

    • Sally on July 24, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Exactly. Increase the baking time with the lower temperature to ensure it cooks through.

      • MARY on July 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm

        Thanks Sally! I’ll try your suggestions next time and let you know if the texture is drier.



  8. Kara Penner Fehr on August 11, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Where can you buy red star platinum? Is it in your general grocery stores or purchases online? I’m from Canada but will be heading to Arizona and wanted to look for some 🙂

    • Sally on August 13, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Hi Kara! Yes, it’s in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can’t find Red Star Yeast’s Platinum yeast, purchase their quick rise instant yeast instead.

  9. Dawn on September 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    What is the difference between a dutch oven and a casserole dish? I have a couple of casserole dishes with lids and I’m wondering if these are suitable to use?

  10. Amanda G on September 18, 2018 at 7:16 am

    I’m a little late to the party but was giving this a try yesterday. My dough came out so wet. Didn’t hold its shape at all. I got mad and threw it away – I should have just baked it but any ideas of what I could have done wrong? I weighed my flour. Thanks!

    • Sally on September 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Amanda! It’s a very wet dough. Definitely proceed with the recipe next time.

Reviews

Questions

  1. Adriana on May 5, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    I have made this bread four times and it had been perfect every time! Now that I’ve made this version, I was wondering, would it be possible to adapt the flavour of the bread by changing the add-ins? For example, what would you think of adding cheese to the dough instead of the cranberries and nuts? Thanks!

    • Sally on May 7, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Hi Adriana! Readers have tried this no-knead bread recipe with other add-ins (including shredded cheese) in the dough. They loved it.

  2. Rosemary on July 12, 2018 at 3:37 am

    I was so excited to find this recipe. I love the cranberry nut bread that is served at our favorite “special occasion” restaurant, and a slightly lighter loaf that one of the warehouse clubs sells at their bakery. I thought this recipe sounded similar, and oh so easy. It came out very disappointing because the smell and taste are both reminiscent of beer (soured). My experience with baking yeast breads is next to non-existent, so I don’t know what I did wrong. I was hoping to bake it for my 92 year old mother when I go to visit soon, so would appreciate any tips. I

    • Sally on July 12, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Rosemary! Let me try to help. You mention you haven’t baked bread much before. Did you know that yeast feeds off sugars? (In this case honey.) As it metabolizes the sugars, carbon dioxide and alcohol are released into the dough, which causes it to rise. So that could be what you are smelling. However, when baked bread taste and smell like beer or alcohol, the dough may have risen too quickly in a too warm environment. Or the dough was rising for too long. How long did you let it rise?

  3. MARY on July 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hi Sally…I made this bread this morning and the taste is wonderful! My loaf looked exactly like yours! I wanted to ask you a question about the texture of my loaf though. It was a little too moist. My husband said it was as if the loaf was underbaked although it wasn’t. There were no flat lines of uncooked dough that you sometimes get when it’s not baked long enough. There were air bubbles throughout from top to bottom. I followed the recipe as written (using sea salt and instant yeast) and the only change I made was to add 1/2 tsp grated orange rind. I let it rise in the oven for 16 hours, baked it for 25 minutes then 6 minutes with the lid off. I used exactly the same pot pictured in your ‘shop the recipe’ section. I preheated both the oven for 30 min and then the empty pot and lid for 30 min. When I took the loaf out of the oven, the internal temp was 195 degrees and the bottom was slightly over-brown. Would you suggest a way for me to alter things so that the inside of the loaf is drier? I was thinking of cutting the amount of cranberries in the recipe to maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup.

    Thanks Sally!

    • Sally on July 23, 2018 at 6:52 am

      Hi Mary! Thank you so much for trying this bread recipe! I would reduce the cranberries AND reduce the oven temperature. Reducing the oven temperature down to 425°F (218°C) will definitely help cook the bread a little more evenly. Let me know if this helps!

  4. Kara Penner Fehr on August 11, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Where can you buy red star platinum? Is it in your general grocery stores or purchases online? I’m from Canada but will be heading to Arizona and wanted to look for some 🙂

    • Sally on August 13, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Hi Kara! Yes, it’s in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can’t find Red Star Yeast’s Platinum yeast, purchase their quick rise instant yeast instead.

  5. Amanda G on September 18, 2018 at 7:16 am

    I’m a little late to the party but was giving this a try yesterday. My dough came out so wet. Didn’t hold its shape at all. I got mad and threw it away – I should have just baked it but any ideas of what I could have done wrong? I weighed my flour. Thanks!

    • Sally on September 18, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Amanda! It’s a very wet dough. Definitely proceed with the recipe next time.

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