Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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.

180 comments

  1. This looks delicious, perfect for fall!

  2. I made this today. It is perfect! I loved that we had hot bread with your lightened up chicken noodle soup despite trips to the pediatrician for pink eye. My kids are devouring it.

  3. As soon as I saw this in my email yesterday, I had to try it! When I realized I didn’t have enough cranberries in the house it was time for a special trip to the store. I hesitated to use the packet of Red Star in the pantry that was past its expiration date, but since it was the only platinum yeast I had and the rest was instant, I decided to try it anyway – bad idea! After 15 hours my lump of wet dough had barely risen at all. But I was determined not to sacrifice it all to the trash, so after a little research, I tried blooming a little fresh yeast and mixing that into the dough with more flour to compensate for the extra liquid. After another 8 hours it had risen beautifully but was still really wet and sticky – it definitely did not hold the ball shape I tried to form. Well, there was nothing to do but bake it anyway and see how it turned out! Miraculously, the finished loaf looks a lot like your pictures and tastes delicious! I love the cranberries and nuts paired with the chewy bread, instead of the typically sweet cranberry quick bread you find at this time of year. I also added the zest of a large orange which complements the other flavors nicely. At 475 my loaf came out a little burnt on the bottom, so next time maybe I’ll try it at 450 for a bit longer. And hopefully next time, I’ll have good yeast from the start!

    Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe, Sally – I know whatever you post is going to be a knock-out and I haven’t been wrong yet! And congrats on your sweet new addition, enjoy these precious early days – my 3 girls are 7, 4, and 2 and I can tell you that it only gets crazier! 

    • So glad that you tried this no-knead bread recipe and loved it. It’s a keeper– we love it!! And I appreciate how simple it is.

  4. Sally, can I make withb regular red star yeast? Would I still use 1/2 tsp?

    Thank you
    Irina

  5. I made the dough last night and baked it today. It turned out great – looked just like your photo and the family all loved it. Great recipe for this chilly Fall weather we’ve got in the Pacific Northwest.

  6. OMG Sally!! I wanted to make this bread!!! I have walnuts and freeze dried cranberries! But I don’t have a dutch oven pot 🙁 Was wondering if you know what are other uses for the dutch pot? So in case I buy it wouldn’t just be for the sake of this bread. haha thanks a lot!!

    • You’re going to love owning a dutch oven. I make soup in mine and pretty much anything that you would use a large pot for. Browning meat, cooking sauces, chili, meatballs, curry, etc!

  7. This bread looks and sounds incredible, Sally! 🙂 

  8. Just read an article from America’s Test Kitchen about using parchment paper at high temps for bread. They contacted businesses and found that there is no problem with the paper at higher temps (no bad fumes etc.) If the paper did “crumble” making it impossible to lift out, they suggested putting a 4-5″ strip of aluminum foil between the parchment and pan and use the foil to lift out the bread.

  9. Hi Sally!
    My Dutch oven pot is oval. Would you worry about the ends browning and the center not cooking through?
    Thanks for all your work and fantastic recipes!!

  10. One loaf out of oven and 2nd 5 minutes behind. I’m waiting until it cools but it looks delish. I used Cast Iron dutch ovens. The bread didn’t burn or get too brown. I also used Kirklands parchment paper and had no issues but to be safe did use 4 inch strips of foil under parchment to lift bread out. I have Le Creuset 9 & 12 qt dutch ovens Do you think I can double recipe for 12 qt.? Okay I can’t wait! Pinching off the end. OMG!! Yeasty, lucious, crunch deliciousness! Thanks its a keeper

    • Totally a keeper recipe for us too! I don’t recommend doubling. Rather, make 2 loaves. Too much dough in the bowl can affect its rising.

  11. I just made this in a dutch oven and it was great.  Have  you ever made smaller loafs and baked in pyrex bowls?  Also, if so, how did you adjust baking time and temperature?  I sometimes do bake artistic bread in  pyrex but don’t cover it.  I agree with you that the covering helps.  Your blog is great

  12. Thank Sally–This is a keeper!  We loved the chewy
     crust and soft interior.  Next loaf will be dried cherry/ chocolate chip. 

  13. I do not personally have a dutch oven, but when I saw this recipe, I knew my mom would LOVE it (and she does have a dutch oven). So I immediately forwarded your email to her and she prepped it that same day. I stopped by after work yesterday to have a slice and it was so yummy! She raved about how easy it was to make and that she would try a savory version with tomatoes and basil next time.. wonderful recipe!

  14. I have this in the oven and it smells amazing – somehow like maple even though there is none. My dough seems like it may have been a little more wet than yours, but I resisted adding flour based on my previous experience with no-knead bread. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  15. Question- is this a sweet bread? Could I mix in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips? There is a bakery we love that makes chocolate peanut butter rolls and I was wondering if I could use this recipe to make a home version

  16. Love the bread, but some of the parchment paper stuck to the bottom! What did I do wrong?

  17. Made this yesterday and it is delicious and ridiculously easy. I have another loaf rising right now and I’ll probably make another one using dried cherries as mentioned above.  Thank you for a great recipe —- 

  18. Hi Sally, this recipe looks great – perfect for a Thanksgiving side!  Unfortunately, my Dutch oven is 5 qt, would it be ok to halve the recipe?  Would the bake time be the same?  Thanks!

  19. I made this today and substituted Molasses because I didn’t have honey. It was so good!!

  20. I made this and it’s amazing! I can’t beleive it came out so good since I never use yeast but it looks just like your pictures and it’s really tasty!  I cut my dough in half and used a 3-1/2 qt Dutch oven and froze the rest. Worked out great.  Thanks Sally, can’t wait to try some more recipes

  21. The course sea salt is such a nice detail! Love the effect. And it is actually safer for your yeast i can imagine (less surface contact). This bread baking style I love it. I use it with starter when i have it but this recipe is a perfect alternative! I will try half rye half all purpose next time. I know white bread flour also works. And…i always shape my ball with a rough bottom and then turn around in the pan for a nice artisan surface!

  22. I made this over the weekend, and it is LOVELY. Had a little piece off the end, then froze the rest to take home for Thanksgiving! I used chopped pecans, but walnuts would be great as well.

  23. I made this today substituting my own gluten free flour blend.
    Sally your a genius, i followed the instructions as you did it. Just added sultanas instead of nuts as daughter doesn’t like hard pieces .
    Its the best Gluten Free bread I have ever made. No its not ‘normal’ the structure its bound to be a little different. However its light and breadlike. What more could you ask for. Thank you

    • I’m so happy to hear that this works with GF flour! Thanks for letting me know, Clare!

    • Hi Clare, can you please share your gluten free flour blend?
      Thanks!

      • Hi Sue this is my base mix and then i just measure out the amount required for what ever recipe I am doing. Including cakes , muffins, pastry anything really.

        700g fine white rice flour
        200g Potato Flour
        100g Tapioca Flour

        I always add a tsp of xanthan gum to each recipe for crumb structure.

        I buy all this from local Asia Supermarket and mix in bulk it saves me a fortune.

      • Thanks so much Claire!

  24. no knead breads are my favorite! i love your flavor combination… i’m definitely going to try it in the next loaf i bake. what are your thoughts on adding a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg?

  25. Hi Sally!!
    I made this bread last week & LOVED it!! It was very easy & hassle free to make & so so so good.  I followed the recipe exactly but used a 5qt oven safe pot as thats all I have & it came out beautiful & browned like yours.  My oven runs hot so I had mine at 460 instead of 475.  Will be making this again very soon!!

  26. Going to make this today! Looks fantastic! Am I able to use a cast iron pot with lid? Is that the same as a dutch oven??

  27. This bread is delicious and so easy! I made mine with pistachios, walnuts and almonds with raisins. The whole thing was scoffed in one sitting! What do you think of adding wet ingredients such as cheese or caramelised onions? Would it work as well?
    Thanks!

    • Your version sounds so good!
      I don’t suggest a wet ingredient like caramelized onions (though feel free to test it out!) but cheese should be just fine.

  28. Do you think fresh cranberries would work instead of dried? Would I have to add more honey (or maple syrup) to counter the tartness? I would love to write a blog post about this bread (and tag you, of course)!

  29. OMG. With only a few exceptions (my aunt’s Irish brown bread), I don’t generally consider myself a “bread” person. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy breadstuffs, but I’m not gaga for them, if you follow the distinction. But let me just say this bread is ON THE LIST OF EXCEPTIONS because IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!! It took me a few days to track down the Red Star Platinum yeast (my supermarket used to carry it but randomly stopped carrying it so I had to go to a different market just to locate some) but once I did, this bread came together so easily and it came out looking just like your picture and the taste is outta this world. I’ve been slicing myself pieces every time I go into the kitchen. It’s delish with a smear of butter, but I also tried it as an open-faced sandwich and topped it with this amazing cheese I found at Wegmans and that was fabulous, too. I texted my husband in between bites and was like, “Can I just say I’m an amazing cook?!” haha. There’s a time and a place for modesty, and this just wasn’t one of those times! Thanks for another fab recipe!

  30. When/where do you add the honey?

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