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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!

loaf of cranberry walnut bread

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?

cranberry walnut bread showing the inside

“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.”

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


Video Tutorial


Overview: 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, let it rest, then 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. We love using this same method for Honey Wheat English Muffins. In both recipes, the magic happens when you’re not looking!

packet of platinum Red Star yeast

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 this 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.

By the way, if you enjoy honey in your homemade bread, you’ll love this no knead honey oat bread because the flavor really stands out. The process is also very similar to today’s easy bread recipe.

cranberry nut bread in a dutch oven after baking

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 baking the bread in a 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. (No need to pre-heat the pan in the oven like you do the dutch oven.) 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 inch baking pan, do not use glass) 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. Bake for about 30 minutes, but begin checking at 25 minutes. Gently tap the loaf– if it sounds hollow, the bread is done.

loaf of cranberry walnut bread and a couple slices

piece of cranberry walnut bread

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
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cranberry nut bread in a dutch oven after baking

Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf; 10-12 servings 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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 a wire rack for 20 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!). If your dutch oven is smaller than 6 quarts, you can halve the recipe (instructions remain the same, just halve each ingredient) or make the recipe as directed in step 1. Shape the dough into 2 balls in step 2. Bake them one at a time in your smaller dutch oven. While the 2nd dough waits, lightly cover and keep at room temperature. The bake times (25 mins and 8-10 mins) are both a little shorter for smaller loaves.
  3. No dutch oven? See post above for alternative.
  4. 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!
  5. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Wooden Spoon | 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Dutch Oven
  6. 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.
  7. Cranberries: Dried cranberries (or raisins!) are best for this wet dough. I haven’t tried this bread with fresh or frozen cranberries.
  8. 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.
  9. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  10. Recipe adapted from Red Star Yeast, method originally from Jim Lahey.

Keywords: cranberry no knead bread

Gently stir all of the ingredients together:

pouring water into bowl with cranberry nut bread dry ingredients

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!

cranberry nut bread dough in a glass bowl

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.

cranberry nut dough in a glass bowl after rising

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. Score an X on top, then allow to rest for 30 minutes:

cranberry nut bread in a ball with an x scored on the top

Bake! Eat! Enjoy!

cranberry walnut bread

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Tastes delicious but the bread turned out a strange grayish color. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Charly, It’s possible that your cranberries simply released some of their color and mixed with the beige dough. We are happy you enjoyed the taste!

  2. Hi Sally
    Will it be a problem if I let it rise more than 18 hrs? ( I was thinking of letting it rise about 24 so it’d be done baking a little later in the day).
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Steve, we don’t suggest letting the dough sit for longer. If 18 hours is difficult for your schedule, you can make the bread dough when it’s convenient for you and freeze it! 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.

  3. Omggg it came out soooooo goooodddd
    Although i did notice my dough rose all the way to the top of the bowl while proofing overnight and then went back down. I saw the marks on the bowl, Not sure if that’s okay?
    It came out really great tho, i almost finished the whole thing myself, making it again ASAP

  4. Nice recipe! I think the one thing I would change is rather than mixing all ingredients together in 1 step and adding water, I would add the honey, yeast, and water together – allow to sit for 10min, then mix with dry ingredients. I just made this and the yeast didn’t fully ‘activate’ and it tasted very ‘yeast-y’. Next time will try with my traditional bread baking method of wet ingredients + yeast, then dry ingredients.. Also, if wanted to make this taste more like the Publix bread, prob need to triple the amount of honey or substitute with sugar.

  5. I have been buying cranberry walnut artisan loaves at the grocery store for a couple of years but recently came upon this recipe. This recipe was better! They mix in rye and whole wheat flower, but I like the texture and taste of this recipe so much better. Thanks!

  6. I’m trying to replicate the wonderful cranberry walnut bread I bought
    at Central Market when living in Houston. Should the walnuts be toasted before adding to the dough?
    Thank You…………Kate

    1. Hi Kate, if you want extra flavor you can, but we don’t toast them. Enjoy!

  7. Hi Sally this always comes out very tasty, but recently I’ve had a lot of trouble with the bottom burning while the top remains pretty pale. I tried moving the shelf in the oven up and not preheating the Dutch oven. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Deborah, you can try lowering your oven by 50 degrees F and cooking the bread for longer. Let the bread cook until it’s golden brown on the exterior. Lightly tap it with your knuckles– if it sounds hollow, it’s done. I hope this helps for next time!

  8. This was very easy to put together. I made the mistake of not using enough flour before the second rise so it didn’t hold its shape and went somewhat flat. I will correct that on the next attempt.

    My parchment paper was only good to 425, so I took the advice listed in the comments of the recipe about just thoroughly greasing your dutch oven before putting the bread in instead. DO NOT DO THIS! My bread burned onto the bottom of my dutch oven and I’m still trying to get the chunks out now. The bread itself is very nice, wonderful texture. However I will only make it again after obtaining the magical 475-degree-safe parchment paper.

  9. Wonderful recipe. I swapped in 1 cup of whole wheat flour and added 1/2 teaspoon of yeast (because I like my bread less dense) and it turned out beautifully! The whole wheat flour adds a nutty note in the flavor. I also just let the dough rise for 9 hours in a warm place and it didn’t taste any different from the times I waited the full 12-18 hour mark. Somehow, my bread retained more air bubbles with less time.

  10. I loved it. I’m going to try to make it with cinnamon and raisins. Can I use a regular bread pan and another pan of water on a lower rack?

    1. Hi Deb! This bread bakes best in a round as described in the recipe above. Hope you love your cinnamon raisin version!

    1. Hi CO, we recommend a 6 quart or larger dutch oven for this recipe. See recipe notes for details and alternate baking instructions.

  11. Why are te bottom crusts on my Dutch oven breads so hard and difficult to cut through? The rest of the breads and crusts are perfect/

    1. Hi Linda, the bread is likely over-baking on the bottom. It happens to some of my loaves too. If you lower the oven temperature (perhaps to 400°F (204°C)) and extend the bake time, the bread won’t get nearly as dark on the bottom.

      1. When I bake bread, including this delicious recipe, I don’t lower the temp. I just slide a cookie sheet on the rack right below the rack where the dutch oven is. It keeps the bottom of the bread from getting too dark or burning. The other thing I like to do is refrigerate the dough after the 18-hour rise. I form it into a ball, put it back into a bowl, cover with saran, and pop it back into the fridge. It seems to develop more flavor after a day or two (or three) in the fridge. I don’t score it until just before baking when I’m ready to put it into my preheated dutch oven. Or, you could make 2 small loaves–one right away because you just can’t wait, and the other a couple days later. Two more things: 1. I toast the walnuts or pecans for 10 minutes at 300 and let them cool before mixing the dough. 2. I also love to add dried cherries along with the dried cranberries. First, I soak them both in boiling water for about 10 minutes to plump them up, then drain & cool. This bread is so wonderful! I freeze slices in ziploc bags, separated by small squares of parchment so they don’t stick together and take out a piece at a time to toast with lunch. Just great! Thanks, Sally!

  12. Made this bread first time today and it’s delicious! So easy to make. I used parchment paper good to 400•F and it worked fine. Only issue is it burned a little in some spots on the bottom, is there a way to prevent this?

    Plan on making extras and giving as Easter gifts with a fancy jam. Can’t wait to make the next loaf.

    1. Hi Eva, happy to hear that you enjoyed this bread recipe. It often helps to move your bread away from the heat source in your oven. Otherwise, try lowering it by 50 degrees F and cooking the bread for longer. Let the bread cook until it’s golden brown on the exterior. Lightly tap it with your knuckles– if it sounds hollow, it’s done. I hope this helps for next time.

  13. I would like to make rolls with this recipe. How many rolls would you recommend and what temperature and baking time would you recommend?

    1. Hi Marilyn, We have never tried making rolls with this dough so we can’t offer guidance for baking them. If you try it we suggest you use the water bath method as described in the post above in the section. “No Dutch Oven? No Problem.” Let us know how they turn out!

  14. Hi there,

    I just made this bread and it was delicious! However I did notice that the interior was still slightly moist and sticky but the crust was perfect. Any thoughts on how to improve the interior?

    1. Hi Kristen, We are happy that you enjoyed this bread! It sounds like it simply needed an extra few minutes in the oven. If you try it again, extend the bake time with the lid on by a few minutes, that way the crust won’t over-brown but the inside will have longer to bake.

  15. This bread is stupid good and stupid easy. So delicious! Could (and will) eat a whole loaf to myself. Best recipe I know!

  16. I thought this recipe has a lot of positives, but it did not rise. Fed it to the local varmints.

  17. I can’t even count how many times I’ve made this now. We LOVE it! Sorry, HEB… I can’t ever go back to buying your bread again Thanks for this recipe!!

  18. One of my favorite all-time recipes! I don’t even know how many times I’ve made this. It’s SO easy, and the taste + texture is glorious. Have a batch on the counter now to bake for Mother’s Day tomorrow morning 🙂

  19. I have tried this recipe today but baked with a stainless steel container, the problem is I used a normal conventional oven but baked with cover for 25 minutes at 250 degree centigrade, the inside of the bread not fully cooked, so I extended twice with 10 min duration (means extra 20 minutes) but still cannot completely cooked! So ended up I need to cut the bread into thick slices to bake another 5 minutes, so it becomes very hard after finished. May I know what’s the problem? Thank you

    1. Hi Ellis! It often helps to move your bread away from the heat source in your oven. Otherwise, try lowering it by 50 degrees F and cooking the bread for longer. Let the bread cook until it’s golden brown on the exterior. Lightly tap it with your knuckles– if it sounds hollow, it’s done. I hope this helps for next time.

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