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 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.

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!)
  3. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | Wooden Spoon | 2-cup Glass Measuring Cup | Dutch Oven
  4. 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.
  5. Cranberries: Dried cranberries (or raisins!) are best for this wet dough. I haven’t tried this bread with fresh or frozen cranberries.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

302 Comments

  1. Good evening Sally,
    I’m not a bread maker, never made a loaf in my life, but thanks to you, I make bread!!! I’ve made this bread several times and it’s gone within hours! You are amazing!!!
    My question is a simple one…I have a vegan in the family, and I can’t use honey…can I submit the honey for maple syrup, or would you have any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Diana! You can use pure maple syrup or even regular sugar in place of honey. So glad you enjoy this bread recipe. It’s pretty simple!

  2. Hi Sally,
    I wanted to know what the measurement would be if I used King Arthur’s stone ground White whole wheat flour for the Bread?Would you recommend?

    1. Hi Diana! I haven’t tested this recipe with that flour before, so I can’t give my confident recommendation. So sorry! I would begin by using a 1:1 substitution though. Let me know how it goes!

    1. Hi Janice! Unfortunately not. This type of bread requires a long and slow rise on the counter at room temperature. I do not recommend using a warm oven.

  3. Hi Sally, I love this recipe and want to make it as a gift but don’t have access to a Dutch Oven-is there another way to achieve that crust? Will a steam bath work? Thanks.

  4. This is the first time I have made bread. It came out great, the family loved it. A week later I’m making another loaf. Thanks

  5. Hi Sally,
    This bread is delicious! I have experience with this method of baking bread and you changed my life with the parchment idea. I used to proof the bread in a floured towel placed in a colander. Sometimes it would stick to the towel or the bread would have lots of flour around the crust. Your method is so much easier and cleaner.
    I do have a question about freezing the dough before baking because I want to have a few ready in the freezer.
    Wouldn’t the dough stick to the cling wrap after it’s thawed? Would I need to proof it for 30 minutes on the counter again?
    Thanks!!
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen! So glad you enjoy this bread recipe, thank you! For freezing– if you’re nervous about the dough sticking, you can always unwrap it when it’s frozen and let it thaw in a covered container. In the freezing instructions, I mention: thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Continue with step 3– in step p3, it instructs to let the dough rest for 30 minutes before baking. I hope this helps!

  6. Baked this today, and it was delicious! Mine turned out just like your picture. I reduced the temperature to 450, and baked 30 minutes, then 10 with the lid off. There’s only about half left 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Hi Sally, my breads turned out beautiful and tasty. I wanted to make the bread, so added same amount of dough(except cranberry and walnuts) later. The bread inside is bicolour. Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful recipe. I baked four, shared with friend and in law, now i have one left.

  8. I tried and I really loved it. so easy. I always struggle with yeast but this one is a keeper.
    thank you

  9. The only problem I had with this recipe was shaping the dough into a ball – you didn’t show this step in the video. It would be helpful to see how you do it.

    1. Hi Lori! There isn’t currently a video for this recipe, but that’s a great suggestion to make one. Using floured hands works to shape it into a ball.

  10. Hi Sally, can you add other add-ins such as spices and cheese? Would you add it at the same point you added the nuts and cranberries? Thanks for you wonderful recipes.

  11. I just finished making this bread and am disappointed. I don’t know what went wrong. The dough didn’t rise and when it was baked, it was very dense. I let it rise for 15 hours at room temperature, but the volume just wasn’t there. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Debbie, if the dough never rose it could be one of two things. Either the yeast itself wasn’t good which doesn’t happen very often but unfortunately it can happen. Or the water was too hot and killed the yeast.

    2. Debbie,

      When using yeast it’s a good idea to activate it before adding to a mix.

      Add the yeast in a mug to a little of the water used I. The recipe and wait 15-20 minutes. Optionally, add a spoonful or two of sugar at the beginning as this helps feed the yeast.

      If after 15-20 mins the mix is frothy, chuck it in your recipe and continue as usual. If it’s not, chuck it down the sink and add yeast to your shopping list.

      Best,
      James

  12. A home run! Half whole wheat and half all purpose flour was dense but still delicious. Recommend 1/3 ww and 1/3 ap flour. A winner, for sure, and so easy.

  13. I have made this bread three times in a row yesterday. The first time I did it exactly as described, weighed my ingredients, use a liquid measuring cup for the water and it was soo much wetter than the dough you have pictured. It went past ‘very sticky’, it wasn’t abled to be handled at all, And I able to take a shape. The second batch I left out a quarter cup of water and it looked more like your picture. Thinking I was crazy or my scale was wrong I tried again with a new scale and again if I had added all the water it would have been significantly more wet than your picture. I stopped two tablespoons shy of the full amount. My dough was still wetter and stickier than yours. I’m not sure if this is normal or if it’s like pie dough where you add as needed due to weather but I’m at a loss. It doesn’t seem like others have had this issue.

    1. Hi Ahnna, I’m happy to help. If the dough seems a lot stickier than what I have pictured, adding more flour helps. It’s supposed to be soft and a little sticky. The great part is that we don’t have to knead the dough, so stickiness shouldn’t be much of an issue.

  14. This changed my life! I was skeptical at first bc my dough was extremely wet/sticky, but it came out perfectly. My kids and husband ate the whole thing. Making another one within 24 hrs! thanks so much for this amazing recipe! I no longer have to spend $8 for this kind of bread at the bakery!

  15. Hi Sally, I recently got given a 3.487QT casserole cast iron oven safe pot with lid – and unfortunately I’m unlikely to be able to get a 6QT size one. So I really wish to finally try your recipe even if it’s a tiny half size loaf! So I plan to just experiment (at my own risk haha!) by making a half size – do you think I should half all the ingredients and proceed?
    Or secondly – make the full amount and in step 2 weigh the dough and divide the dough in half just use half? I’m thinking the second option is a bit risky as it might rise too much in the pot in the oven… curious your thoughts. Thank you, and happy weekend!

    1. I’m excited you can try it! I would recommend making the entire recipe and freezing half of the dough for another time. See Recipe Note #1 for freezing instructions – before you freeze it, cut in in half to bake one half and freeze the other. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks Sally for your help! Well it turns out I managed to exchange my smaller casserole pot for a larger 5.3L (5.6Qt) size one and I just used it today for your Jalapeño Cheddar No Knead bread and it fitted and baked well, thankfully!

  16. I am so excited to try this bread. We found this bread at a store with a bakery in Destin, Fl. I bought several before we went home. I have the dough rising now and will bake it soon. Just purchased a new Lodge porcelain cast iron pan. The directions say to not heat an empty Dutch oven or covered casserole. The recipe says to heat the Dutch oven for 30 minutes before placing the dough inside. Wondering if you had used a porcelain cast iron before when baking your bread.

  17. Hi Sally! I LOVE this recipe and I love the fact that I can make bread! I have made this recipe for friends and even traded a loaf for my good friend to paint my faux fireplace You inspired me to check out Jim Lahey’s books…all of them, in fact, from the library! You should add a note to include the different variations other people have made when they used your recipe, I would love to try new kinds of this same recipe! Thanks again!

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