Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread

Yeasted bread has never been easier. This simple mixing method produces the most beautiful and crusty cranberry nut no knead bread with practically zero hands-on work!

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 the recipe in no time. That’s a guarantee.

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?

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. This recipe, however, 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.”

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

This bread, like my homemade artisan bread, has all the bells and whistles and takes zero effort to make. If you’re feeling lazy…. awesome. Because this recipe is for you.

How to Make No Knead Bread

  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.

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, 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. Just set it on your counter and forget about it until the next day. The magic happens when you’re not looking!

Red Star Yeast - Platinum

Only 5 Ingredients for No Knead Bread

You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make homemade bread and you might already know that if you’ve tried my sandwich bread recipe. You only need 5 ingredients here, which 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.

Honey isn’t usually added to traditional no knead bread recipes, but I wanted a little extra flavor here. A couple Tablespoons of flour make up for the added liquid. There’s also 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 Bake No Knead Bread in 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 Dutch Oven? No Problem.

While the dutch oven is key to this bread’s texture, you can get around it. Instead, place the rounded dough on a parchment paper lined or generously floured baking pan. Score the bread as noted in step 3 below. Preheat the oven. After the oven is preheated, place a shallow metal or cast iron baking pan or skillet (I usually use a metal 9×13 baking pan) on the bottom oven rack. Carefully and quickly pour 3-4 cups of boiling water into it. Place the scored dough/baking pan on a higher rack and quickly shut the oven, trapping the steam inside. The steam helps create a crispier crust.

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.

Print

Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf; 8-10 servings
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Yeasted bread has never been easier. This simple mixing method produces the most beautiful and crusty cranberry nut no knead bread with practically zero hands-on work!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour, (spoon & leveled) 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))

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Dutch Oven: 6 quart or higher dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid (lid is crucial– see post!) No dutch oven? See post above for alternative.
  3. Yeast: If you don’t have instant yeast, you can use active-dry. I’ve never had a problem using active dry yeast in this recipe– and with no other changes needed. Works wonderfully!
  4. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Wooden Spoon | 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Dutch Oven
  5. Bread Flour or Whole Wheat Flour: I use all-purpose flour here since it’s more readily available to most bakers. However, I love baking bread with bread flour and it can definitely be substituted with no other changes needed to the recipe. You can also swap all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. The bread will have a tougher and heartier texture, as expected. To maintain a chewy and softer texture, use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.
  6. Cranberries: Dried cranberries (or raisins!) are best for this wet dough. I haven’t tried this bread with fresh or frozen cranberries.
  7. Parchment Paper: 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.
  8. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  9. Recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast, method originally from Jim Lahey.

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

471 Comments

  1. Easiest, Best Bread Recipe
    I can’t believe how simple and delicious this recipe is. Thank you!

  2. Omg. My husband loves the walnut raisin from Costco ( a tad expensive and not always on shelf). Tried 2 other recipes and saw yours for another “go”. I am so glad that I did. Your instructions are very easy to follow. I even bought a Dutch oven. Results- Perfection. So much so loaf gone in 24 hours. I only had two slices. Made another one today. Thanks so much. I did pecans with cranberries. So good. I will try others on your site.

  3. One question – Do I put the Dutch oven in for 30 minutes while the oven is coming up to 475 or after the oven hits 475, then put the Dutch oven in for 30 minutes? Thanks Steve

  4. I have NEVER commented on a recipe before and I have made a lot of different foods. However, I just had to here. Never made bread before. This could not have been more simple! I added brown and golden raisins, walnuts and dried apricots. Absolutely delicious and beautiful. I have shared this with family and friends.

    1. I’m thrilled that you tried making bread for the first time and enjoyed it so much, Rita! Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

  5. Marvelous recipe! Sally, you have rekindled my love of bread baking. I’m wondering if this recipe would work for a wonderfully crusty roll, maybe cooked (with little parchment squares) in a muffin pan covered with a foil tent?

    1. I’m so happy you enjoy this recipe, Lisa! I have never tried making rolls in a muffin pan with this dough. If you try it I suggest you use the water bath method as described in the post above in the section. “No Dutch Oven? No Problem.” Let me know how they turn out!

  6. Do you know what the calories would be per slice? This is my Tuesday reward bread when I get home from Weight Watchers

    1. I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

  7. Delicious! I used dried tart cherries because that’s what I had (I gave them a 5 min soak in boiling water first). I omitted the nuts but might try them next time. Outstanding!!

  8. Hello!! Thank you for the recipe; we are making it now! I have a question, my parchment paper is safe up to 420 degrees. Can you give me guidance on how long to cook the bread with the decreased temperature? TIA!!

  9. Hi!

    This recipe looks lovely. I only have a 3.5 quart dutch oven-could I just half the amount and put in two separate loaves?

    Let me know what the adjusted cooking time would be also!

    1. Yes. It’s hard to give an exact bake time, so simply bake until golden brown. Give it a light knock with your knuckles– if the loaves sound hollow, they’re done!

  10. hi sally, can this dough rise at room temp for 24 hrs or more? i don’t want to freeze since i’m serving it up tomorr. thank you 😉

  11. Hi! So I made this recipe a few days ago and while it was very yummy it didn’t rise right it was very flat. Due to the food shortage happening I only could get fleshmines bread machine yeast do you have any suggestions bc I’d like to make it again today bc it was good. So should I use more of that yeast or whatever you think since that’s all The only yeast I can find.
    P.S
    I love your recipes your blueberry scones are the best they come out perfect every time.

  12. I’m using this period of social distancing to try my hand at bread making. I’ve always been afraid of yeast. Can I substitute dry active yeast for instant? Supermarkets are completely sold out at the moment.

    1. Same question – I only have active yeast and can’t get anything else due to shortages . Would I need to make changes to the recipe?

  13. Hi, Sally, I don’t have a glass bowl but I have ceramic and hard plastic mixing bowls. I made the bread just now using the hard plastic bowl. Is it going to make a difference in the process? And also, this is my 1st time to make a bread recipe with yeast.

  14. Made it!
    First time making bread and it was easy, super delicious and beautiful!!
    Thank you so much!!

  15. Love this and all of your recipes. If I make it without the nuts and berries to just have some good crusty bread will the bake time be different?

    1. Hi Kris, Unfortunately I haven’t tried this bread with fresh or frozen cranberries. If you wish to try it I don’t recommend thawing the frozen berries. Let me know if you try.

  16. Very good but seems a little salty – would cutting the salt effect the recipe in any way?
    Also seemed like a small amount of yeast – bread is quite dense – would a bit more yeast throw off the recipe??

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe! The amount of yeast is ideal for the prolonged rise time at room temperature. Feel free to increase the amount or adjust the salt if you prefer! I usually use table salt.

  17. I’ve made this bread many times since first trying it in January, and it’s been delicious every time. Definitely a new favorite! I just noticed I was out of parchment paper (except for a small sliver). Do you know whether putting the dough in the Dutch oven without parchment would cause it to stick?

  18. I just made a batch of your Homemade Artisan Bread (3 1/4 c flour, 2 teaspoons instant yeast). Now I’m getting ready to make your Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread (3 c +2T flour, 1/2 teaspoon yeast). My question is why is there so much less yeast in the Crusty Cranberry Nut bread – the flour amounts are almost the same? Just want to make sure I’m not reading things wrong! So excited to bake these up! Thank you.

    1. Hi Jan! This bread rises for 18 hours while the other bread only rises for 3 hours. That’s why there is a difference in the amount of yeast.

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