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 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.

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!). 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.

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

463 Comments

  1. Can I use rapid rise yeast as this is all I have on hand? Any adjustments when using it?

    1. Hi Susan, Rapid rise is the same as instant yeast which is what I’m using in this recipe.

  2. This is my favorite bread! Tastes just like Balthazar’s bread. Do you by chance have the nutritional info?

  3. Nivi Gopathi says:

    I just made this one. The bread is delicious! I don’t have a Dutch oven, so followed the alternate approach. I baked it for 35 mins. The crust is crunchy, the taste is delicious. The middle is slightly gummy, I’m not sure if it needed a minute more in the oven or the dough had too much water. The dough was very sticky even after 20hours of resting. Overall delicious recipe!

    1. bread will be done cooking at internal temp of 200 degrees F, just check with an instant read thermometer if its done

  4. This bread was AMAZING. I don’t even know where to begin. I want to eat the whole thing in one go.

  5. Read the bit for alternative to a Dutch oven and there’s a typo 🙁 says bake time is 32-35 minutes In a normal oven but I’m guessing this should have said 22-25 as after 30 minutes it’s a lump of charcoal 🙁 so disappointed was looking forward to trying this loaf!

  6. Just made this as my first yeast bread. I was worried, as the dough looked super wet, but the outcome was fantastic! Slightly chewy, good golden crisp crust, great flavor! I coupled this with the homemade honey butter recipe from this website and also great. Thanks so much for this recipe, it is a definite keeper!
    Note: used the Dutch oven method, and the cooking times of 35 minutes covered and 10-12 minutes uncovered at 220C, as my baking paper was limited to that temp.

  7. Can this be made in a bread machine as well and get that wonderful crunchy crust?

    1. I don’t recommend it.

  8. Hi Sally
    Planning to try this recipe (never tries baking bread yet!) but have a few questions:
    1. Can I use a silpat or a cookie sheet instead of parchment paper?
    2. Can I use a stainless steel oven-safe pot with lid instead of a dutch oven? How will temperature for baking change?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Earlene, you can use a silicone baking mat provided it can withstand this high of heat (the brands usually list that on the package or website). You can also use a nonstick cookie sheet or simply grease it with butter. And as long as the pot you have is oven-safe in a temperature this high, I can’t see why not.

  9. amazing. this was my first time making home-made bread. it turned out prefect. making my second batch now. the house smells fantastic.

    can you use this basic recipe for other types of bread….thinking no raisin but adding sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. thoughts?

    1. Sure can! And here is another flavor I love: No Knead Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

      1. Sally:
        Can I substitute raisins for the cranberries and pecans for the walnuts? I made this bread this week and it was amazing!! So easy. I almost felt guilty about it.

  10. Excellent recipe. I made it today and it turned out fab! It was easy but all you need is patience to wait it out. Thank you for the recipe.

    And thanks for pointing out that parchment paper has a heat capacity. Mine was only up to 220 degrees celcius. If you didn’t mention it, I would have baked it at 246. I baked at 220 degrees and it turned out good. In fact was a bit burnt at the top, so I may have to lower the heat a wee bit when the lid is off the next time.

  11. Janey Moskowitz says:

    I love this bread and I’ve made this recipe a few times, but the more times I make it, the flatter the loaf has been. Additionally, I’m finding it hard to shape as it just falls. What am I doing wrong? I have followed the recipe to a T, what can I do to improve this? Please help! It’s everyone’s favorite bread.

    1. Hi Janey! I’m glad to help. This dough is meant to be sticky and well hydrated. However, don’t be afraid to flour your hands and the dough as you shape it. If you make it again, try adding 2-3 extra Tbsp of flour to the dough. I use and always recommend King Arthur Flour in bread baking.

  12. Judy Cocce says:

    Well…recipe was super easy…let it proof about 15 hours…popped in the oven per instructions…and now have a gorgeous looking loaf that makes my kitchen smell like an all-night beer kegger at a fraternity! Ha!!

  13. Made this today and my home smelled like a bakery! It turned out really well and I’m very happy! The only question I have is that the risen dough was still sticky and wet and it was impossible to form anything that resembled a ball; scoring the X was also not possible.

    1. So glad you tried and loved this homemade bread recipe. Coat your hands in flour and the top of the loaf in flour, too. That will make shaping easier. Use a very sharp knife for scoring or even a pair of kitchen shears.

    2. Judy Cocce says:

      I’ve tried this bread 3 times now…all with no luck! Breads LOOK gorgeous but all have a very strong, funky beer smell and have been thrown out. I’ve done the recipe to the letter…let first rise for 18 hours, second for 15 hours and third for 12. No luck! Can figure it out!

      1. Hi Sally,
        I’ve made this loaf three times and I love it! I would like to point out though I had to add about a cup to 1.5 cups of flour during the shaping process. After the 12-18 hour rise it is very sticky, and impossible to form into a ball on its own.
        For those who are having a difficult time, I recommend pouring the risen dough onto a floured baking sheet (it will be big enough for your liquid consistency dough mixture), covering the dough with a layer of flour, and then forming a ball with flour coated hands. I then kept adding flour as I shaped into a ball (it was very very sticky). This was the only way I was able to achieve a pretty little dough ball! I then scored and baked and lived happily ever after.

  14. Karen Nightingale says:

    I’m prepared my dough at noon today. I think my brain has turned to dough. Lol. Will it be ok to leave it out until tomorrow morning? Or should I put it in the fridge before I go to bed tonight. I really don’t want to bake it at midnight.

    1. You can put it in the refrigerator overnight and bake tomorrow. No need to let it come to room temperature before baking.

  15. Karen Nightingale says:

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. The dough looks amazing. Can’t wait to bake it tomorrow.

  16. Hi Sally I made this bread several times. I was always very successful. Bread came out perfect. This time I made from the frozen dough ( I made the dough before and then put in the freezer for two months). I thaw it at room temp and then followed as usual. The bread didn’t rise and is not cooked inside. What should I do? Where I went wrong? Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi David, it sounds like there may have been too much moisture in the dough so it’s (1) not rising properly and (2) not cooking properly. Did you let the dough rest at room temperature, then freeze it? It won’t rise much as it thaws, but baking should turn out normally. Was it cold going into the oven?

      1. Hi Sally! Thank you for response! I doubled the receipt, let it rise in room temperature for about 14 hours. Then I divide the dough In half. Wrap one piece in plastic, then put it in freeze container with cover (the second piece of dough was made in ball and rest for 30 mins, then baked, and it was fabulous). I kept the other half in freezer for 2 months. It was taken from the Freezer in the morning and left for several hours on counter top. It was a room temperature when it went to the oven. Idk what happened But yes it did kind of looked and felt more “wet” when I was preparing it for second 30 minutes rise. I needed way more flour to shape it. Sorry for the long rant

  17. Hi I have dry active yeast would that work? and also I have bread flour. I have used on similar breads

    1. Yes and yes! See recipe notes 🙂

  18. This was amazing! Thank you. So super easy. I toasted the pecans before going in but otherwise stuck to this recipe carefully. Yummmy!

  19. Annette Dellios says:

    I made this bread last night but it came out quite dense in the centre. It was proved approximately 18 hours, shaped and then rested 30 minutes before baking
    Looked fantastic on the outside and did taste great but centre was doughy
    I’ve made plain no knead bread before and so light and fluffy but with the fruit and nuts in it just changed the texture
    Should I increase the resting time before cooking it or would like to hear any other suggestions
    Thanks

  20. Question for Sally: is it alright to use a stainless steel Dutch oven? I have difficulty lifting those made of cast iron. Would any alterations to your baking instructions be required?

    1. Hi Doreen! As long as it’s oven-safe to this temperature, I can’t see why not! Same baking instructions.

  21. I love this recipe but I made this last night and this morning I saw that the dough did not rise as usual. The yeast is good since the other regular no knead bread I made along with it rose just fine. What can I do? Can I add more yeast?

    1. Hi Amy, anything you did differently this time? It may be helpful to let it sit at room temperature for a few more hours. I wouldn’t add more yeast, I would just go along and bake it (especially if you followed the recipe exactly!).

  22. I baked this bread today and very happy with the result.
    The only thing is the very intense yeast smell.
    Is it supposed to be like that?
    This was my first time baking with the yeast. Overall, thank you for the wonderful recipe. Will bake over and over again.

  23. Jennifer M Sabine says:

    Looks like a great recipe. I want to make a nut bread without the cranberries. Can I use 1 & 1/2 cups of walnuts instead of 3/4 cup of walnuts and 3/4 cup of cranberries or can I omit the cranberries and keep to the rest of the recipe?

    1. Yes – either way works! Enjoy.

  24. Annis Kishner says:

    Hi Sally! I baked this bread and clearly over-baked it when I tried to adjust for my parchment paper (450 max temp). Is there a rule of thumb for how increase baking time for lowering the oven temperature? I just did not know how to judge and my crust is away over done and tough.

    Annis

    1. Hi Annis, no specific rule of thumb for the bake time when lowering the oven temperature. It really depends on the exact temperature, but the bake time wouldn’t need to be extended too much if lowering to 450F. I would still bake for 25 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid so you can keep an eye on it to determine its doneness.

  25. Debra Cormier says:

    Thanks for these great recipes. Yesterday I made my first-ever loaf of bread using your homemade artisan bread and it was wonderful!
    I’m wondering why this recipe only has 1/2 teaspoon of yeast compared to the other bread recipe. Can I add more yeast if I want a fluffier/less-dense bread?

  26. Hi Sally,
    I have been making this bread for about a year now and it’s just awesome!
    My only question is how do you get to the ball shape? After I put the dough on the counter it spreads a lot and is very sticky. I want to make it more like a round ball rather than a flatter one.
    Thanks! Regardless of the shape it’s delicious

    1. Hi Caroline! So glad you enjoy this bread recipe. Gently work a little more flour into the dough to help it hold a shape a bit better.

      1. Thanks! I’ll definitely try that!
        Also I have played around with add ons and the black olives/sundried tomato combo was awesome and chocolate chips cranberry was delicious for a mid afternoon snack!

  27. This is going to be the first time that I am trying to make this bread!
    Can I replace AP flour to Whole wheat flour?
    Thanks,
    Fari

    1. Good luck! See recipe note for details about flour.

  28. If I am using a “non-Dutch oven” do I still cover it with a lid

  29. Hi! I let the dough rise for about 18.5 hours and it was really fermented and tasted like alcohol after I baked it. It also did not rise much in the oven. Do you think the problem was the long rising time? I could tell that if it were not for the over fermentation, the bread would have been delicious.

    1. Hi Lauren, are you accidentally using more yeast than the recipe calls for? 18 hours at room temperature for this amount of yeast (and flour) isn’t too long– you want a slow rise. I’ve had it smell a bit like alcohol before, but it’s never tasted as such.

      1. I don’t think I used too much yeast but I will try again and make sure I measure it precisely. I could tell the bread would have been really delicious had it not over fermented.

  30. Overall a great recipe! The bread interior came out super soft and fluffy, and the cranberries were a great touch. I look forward to toasting this bread! The whole process was really easy and barely took any effort because it was no knead, and the detailed instructions were really helpful.
    I had a few little issues:
    1) the bread came out a little salty; not sure if this was my mistake and I measured wrong
    2) my bread didn’t really brown. most of it remained a chalky, pasty color and only browned in swatches. I reshaped the dough into a ball again after the second rise, because it had drooped into a very flat shape; might that be the problem with breaking the taut gluten strands and all?
    3) some cranberries on the surface became charred and bitter.
    4) We tried the bread a few hours after it finished baking- the crust didn’t really get crunchy or crispy and it was kinda soft, though I used the boiling-water-in-a-pan method.
    If I were to make this again, do you have any remedies for #2, #3, and #4?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi G! Glad you tried and loved this. Happy to help with those questions. (2) It sounds like the bread could have benefitted from a few extra minutes in the oven. This could also help with question (4) as well. Extra oven time will help brown the loaf and (hopefully!) keep it crispier. (3) This happens to me as well. You can try to manually pick out the dried cranberries that are on top of the shaped loaf and press them down into the dough before baking.

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