Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread

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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!

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. 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? 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.

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. If you’re feeling lazy, awesome. 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!

Red Star Yeast - Platinum

Only 5 Ingredients for No Knead Bread

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.

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-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.

Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead 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

Whole wheat flour: You can 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.

*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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© 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. 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.

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.

258 Comments

All Comments

  1. 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. 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. 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!

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

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

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

  6. 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?

  7. I have not tried baking bread in a Dutch Oven before. I have always bake my bread on a baking sheet and want to give this recipe a try b/c I love Zaro’s Cranberry Walnut Bread. However, I am very concern with preheating my Le Creuset Dutch Oven empty at such a high temperature. I do not want to damage my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I think it will still produce the same crusty exterior if I bake the bread without preheating the Dutch Oven first due to the cast iron surface of the Dutch Oven the bread sits on. Thought?

    1. Hi Serene! This is a very typical method for baking bread and how most dutch ovens are used. If you’re still not comfortable, you can skip the preheating process but you’ll lose a little bit of that delicious crust!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I just baked this No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe of your this morning – prep was done yesterday – proofed for 20 hours – used a
    Pizza Stone with a bowl of hot water underneath for 40 minutes
    @ 450 degrees F. Turned out “Awesome”!

  9. I love this bread. I have made it several times for guests at our Airbnb. It’s so easy and so very delicious! My one issue is that the bottom of the loaf is often a little too dark and hard to cut. Can I reduce the temperature or should I reduce the baking time? I don’t want to lose the crusty-ness or the moistness of the inside of the loaf.

  10. Absolutely out of this world… first time. I never stick to recipes as I have lots of home bread baking experience — but thankfully I did with this one! Well… I did use 1 cup bread flour, 1 c all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour — as well as molasses instead of honey (all I had), an additional half cup of cut frozen blackberries from my sister’s yard (oh.. and quarter cup of sunflower seeds). Stunning outcome… and delectable. Thank you.

  11. Hello,

    I have made this recipe in the past and it came out great! I am wondering, have you ever split the recipe into two loaves? I am thinking I can follow the same instructions as far as rise time etc after splitting dough, but do you think the bake time will remain the same? I was also going to bake in smaller Dutch ovens. Thank you!

    1. Hi Michele! If baking 2 loaves instead of 1, the bake time will be a little shorter. I haven’t tried this, so let me know how it turns out.

  12. I’ve made no-knead breads in the past. Usually the recipe calls for cool or room temperature water when you do a 12-18 hour rise. Do you think using cooler water might give it a slower rise and better flavor?

    1. Hi Terry! Cooler water will extend the rise time, improving the flavor. I find warm water works just fine but definitely use what you prefer/have time for!

  13. I have frozen cranberries if I cut them in half do you think that will work. I always leave my NKB for at least 18 hrs. don’t live in US but always bring bags back to my house after a November or December visit to the US.

  14. Actually, it was so fantastic that my dog stole it off the counter while we were in another room and downed the whole loaf!!

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Reviews

  1. I’m gluten free, so I decided to make this bread gluten free. The only change I made to the recipe was to use Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum. The bread was delicious. Thank you for the step by step instructions and such a wonderful recipe!

Questions

  1. 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

    1. 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?

  2. 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!

    1. 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!

  3. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. Hi I made this last night following your recipe using weight and volume, the dough was very very wet and would not slice before baking. I let it rise for 12+ hours and it did double in size. It’s now coming out of the oven, we are at elevation 4300 feet should adjustments be made

    1. If doubling the ingedients to obtain bigger bread, do you also double the liquid, or do you safely stay on the 600 – 650 ml? I find the bread relatively moist.

  6. Hi Sally! What an incredible loaf of bread for so little effort! 2 things I’m wondering about: one side of my gorgeous baked loaf fell after resting on counter , and the bottom got over-browned. I cooked it on the middle rack. Otherwise fantastic!

    1. Hi Marina! You can, yes, but the bread would no longer come from a lean dough and therefore, the texture will change. It won’t be as crusty on the outside and airy in the center.

    1. I suggest a 6 quart or higher dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid. You want enough room for the dough plus the steam to work its magic 🙂

      1. Is there anyway to adjust recipe to use with a 5 quart ..I just got this one and can not afford a bigger one, nor can I accommodate a larger one in my tiny kitchen, let me know I really want to bake this.

        Ke

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