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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!

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast.

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 Platinum Yeast from Red Star, 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 Platinum Yeast from Red Star 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. So delicious! I used 220g of all purpose flour and 140g of whole wheat (i bake bread often so I knew this would work.) The crust was perfectly chewy, the bread slightly dense the way we like it! My husband gave it 5 stars and so do I! This recipe is going into my bread baking rotation. I can’t wait to toast some tomorrow morning!

  2. This is one of my favorites!!
    Can this be made using the instructions for the olive bread, cool water , rise 2-3 hours on counter, then a longer time in the fridge?
    I love the flexibility, if that would work?

    1. Yes, absolutely! The difference is that the olives burn easily, so I adjusted the recipe slightly for the olive bread. This cranberry bread, however, could certainly use THOSE instructions. It’s a very flexible recipe.

      1. Can I substitute granny Smith apples for cranberries & add raisins & dates?

      2. Hi Sharon, we don’t recommend adding apples. Their added moisture will make the dough too wet, so it would take some recipe testing to figure out the best way to incorporate them into the recipe. You could swap the cranberries and/or nuts for raisins and chopped dates. You’ll want to keep the total amount of add-ins the same. Enjoy!

    2. Am I crazy but I don’t see the temperature for the oven for this bread. What temp do I bake this bread?

      1. Hi Judy, You want a very hot oven: 475°F (246°C).

  3. My bread is still in the oven but you should add a note here (and on all dutch oven recipes?) that people should check that their pot can withstand that high temperature of 475° – while my pot was heating up I kept hearing a popping noise and then I took it out and saw that the knob on top had split and popped off. Checking le creuset, that temp is too high for the lid 🙁 I took it off and put a cast iron pan over the pot, that could be a good workaround to note.

    1. Where did you find the info on the Le Creuset? I am scared now about trying this with my dutch oven! I believe the newer LC come with metal knobs. Thanks for the advice!

    2. I unscrew the knob from the cover of my pot and stick a piece of aluminum foil in the hole. It does make it harder to remove the very hot lid but with care it can be done.

    3. I used to sell Le Creuset — bummer about the knob but you can get or order a replacement from almost anywhere LC is sold. Their customer service department is also really, really good so you can always contact them online as well.

    4. I use a $15 enameled cast iron Dutch oven from Aldi with metal knob for over 7 years and never had a problem even at max temperature in my oven. Everything else I have is LC ..but I did not wanted to pay the price for a Dutch oven from LC.

  4. I loved this recipe! It comes out fantastic. I’ve made it 3 times in the past three weeks. This is the first bread I have ever made that was a hit right from the start. My husband loved it ! Toasted it is even better.
    Can it be made as cinnamon raisin ? Or any other variation ? If so I would love to know how much I need to add or subtract to do this.

    1. Hi Eileen, absolutely! We’d recommend swapping the cranberries with raisins and adding two teaspoons of cinnamon. You can then adjust for more/less for future batches. Let us know how it goes!

      1. Hi, I’ve made both bread recipes and they both came out perfect. They both have become a staple in our house now. I’m making a loaf a week and we are loving it. I can finally make a bread that comes out and tastes wonderful.

        Question .. can you make individual rolls with this ? I’ve been trying to figure out how to go about this and I’m at a loss. I’m not sure what type of pan/casserole dish / muffin pan I can use to accomplish this. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

      2. Hi Eileen, 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!

  5. I just made this bread today. So easy for a beginner to make! I used half all-purpose flour with half wheat flour and a stainless steel pot for baking. It turned out well! It tastes so good! I am going to bake this more to share with my parents. Thanks for this great recipe!

  6. We were craving a hearty bread, and this was perfect! It was a little too salty for me personally because I was envisioning a sweet-ish bread, but that’s just personal preference. The saltiness is pretty good with the sweet cranberries.

    1. Can I still knead this dough? Would it add any additional airy ness to the crumb to do so? I love the sound of this bread but I don’t actually mind kneading bread!

      1. Hi Riah! This dough making method is not compatible with kneading. Best to stick with the recipe!

  7. Can you allow this bread to rise longer then 18 hours – as in the other recipe that was 18-24 hours

    1. Hi Betty, 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.

  8. The bread turned out great. I was wondering if I could double this recipe to make a larger loaf?

    1. Hi Jenn! For best results, we recommend making two batches of dough. We haven’t tested baking a larger loaf, but it may be best to stick with two smaller ones. But let us know what you try!

      1. I doubled the recipe and baked it at 475 covered for 35 and uncovered for 15-20 min. I also used a much bigger stainless steel pot and the bread turned out perfect!

  9. Very good! Do you have suggestions / adjustments for cooking it at about 6500ft elevation? Mine seemed slightly burned on the bottom and not quite done in the middle. I put it back in to cook longer and it taste great if I pick off burned bits. I also cooked mine at 475 but only realized after that the parchment is good too 425. Would that cause the burning? If I put temp to 425 how long do you bake?

    1. Hi Beth, We wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
      We haven’t tested it ourselves but other bakers have had success with baking at 425 for 35 min with lid on, 12 with lid off.

  10. mine got very burnt on the bottom. not sure what i did wrong. i scrapped off the burnt as best i could. taste was great. crunchy on outside chewy on inside. if anyone has any suggestions about avoiding a burnt bottom i would appreciate

    1. Hi Bridget, If the bottom is getting too hard/burnt, try lowering your oven temperature by 25 degrees and lower your oven rack as well. The bake time will be a bit longer since you lowered the oven temperature. You can also try sprinkling your parchment with flour or cornmeal to help prevent sticking. Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

  11. It’s an amazing recepy, it’s great with with whole wheat flower, oats, cranberry and walnuts. I found that 1 1/2 tsp of yeast works best. Thanks a lot, I use this recipe all the time.

  12. I baked this following the directions to a “T”, and it turned out great!
    It is a hearty crusty bread with a bit of chewiness. I made it to go with spaghetti and salad, and it was perfect. It’s definitely a bread recipe that I will again and again!

  13. Oops, the bread I made was for the hearty crunchy bread! I had the cranberry/nut bread recipe on my computer screen because it has the directions for baking the bread in a Dutch oven, which is what I did!
    To me, they are essentially the same recipes, one just happens to have the cranberries and nuts!
    Sorry for the confusion!

  14. I made this bread for breakfast this morning, it was awesome! Crunchy outside, moist inside. My husband gave it his thumbs up, he loved it! It’s a keeper!

  15. This looks absolutely fantastic and I want to make this sometime this week.. but I’m having trouble finding plain dried cranberries. Are the sweetened Craisins too sweet for this recipe? Or is that what I’m supposed to be using? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Laura, I usually use Craisins in this recipe or a similar brand. They’re usually sweetened which is fine in this bread.

  16. A question. Can I use a romertof? It means soaking it and then putting it in a cold oven so timing is different but it does steam the bread.

    1. Hi Nomi, we haven’t tried that method for baking this bread so we’re unsure of how it would work. Let us know if you do give it a try.

    1. Hi Sherry, you could certainly try a loaf pan. The bake time may vary depending on its size.

  17. Let me start by saying I’m a cook-a really good cook. But baking? That can be tricky and mistakes are difficult to fix. I’m just starting my baking journey and I’m feeling fairly smug after showing up at a get-together with several loaves of this for friends and hearing all the rave reviews! . I followed the directions to a T and WOW! The loaves come out beautiful and delicious every time. Everyone was so impressed! I love all the tips and explanations. Today I’m going for your pumpkin pie! Wish me luck!

    1. Hi Marisa, we’re so glad to hear that you tried and loved this recipe! Have fun with the pie!

  18. You stated in previous question I could add dates & raisins. Would that be same amount for each added item? I saw a recipe where you could use gsmith apples if they were prepared. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Sharon, we don’t recommend using chopped apples because the moisture will throw off the consistency of the dough. You can use dates & raisins, you’ll want to keep the total amount of add-ins the same (up to 1 1/2 cups total including nuts if you’re using them).

  19. I got all ready to make this bread and I don’t have instant yeast. Only the regular. That probably won’t work, will it?
    Claudia

    1. Hi Claudia, If you don’t have instant yeast, you can use active-dry. See recipe notes for details!

  20. Loved this recipe! Made it yesterday and baked it today, and its easily the best bread I have ever had. My boyfriend agreed and said it too!

  21. Costco sells a loaf of cranberry walnut bread for $8.99 during the fall. I’m in love with it and thought instead of spending all that money I need to find a recipe for it. So here I am! I made the dough at 10pm last night and seventeen hours later I just put it in the oven to bake. I can’t wait to try it! Oh and a little tip: try toasted slice with apple butter! It’ll change your life!! :))

  22. I haven’t made this yet, but was wondering if I could use 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 rye flour.

    1. Hi A, we haven’t tested this recipe with rye flour but would love to hear how it goes if you give it a try!

  23. This bread was delicious! It worked pretty well on my first try and I’ve never made bread in a dutch oven before. I did cut the dough in half since I only have a 2 qt dutch oven. The first loaf turned out a little too well done, and when I adjusted the timing on the second loaf, it looked much better on top, but the bottom was still quite well done and a bit blackened. Is there something I might be doing wrong that leads to a darker crust on the bottom of the loaf? Thank you as always for such wonderful recipes!!

    1. Hi Brianna, we’re so glad you enjoyed this one! If the bottom is getting too hard/burnt, try lowering your oven temperature by 25 degrees and lower your oven rack as well. The bake time will be a bit longer since you lowered the oven temperature. You can also try sprinkling your parchment with flour or cornmeal to help prevent sticking. Thank you for giving this recipe a try!

    1. Hi Genny, absolutely. You can use the same amount of bread flour here with no other changes to the recipe.

  24. Made this bread for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! It’s been requested for Christmas already. Instead of a Dutch oven, I used a terracotta bread cloche, and it worked perfectly!

  25. I love this recipe. I make it almost weekly and share with friends.
    I have family in Europe and they would like me to convert this recipe in German. Do you have something like this available? Please let me know.

    1. Hi Karin, We are so happy you love the recipe enough to share it with your family! We don’t have it translated into other languages but if their web browser can’t do it, you can try using Google Translate for them.

  26. I read your instructions carefully and decided I couldn’t make this in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven as it is so old and my parchment paper can’t be used above 220C. So I made it the alternative way using a parchment paper covered baking sheet in a 220C fan assisted oven. Well the bread didn’t really rise but spread outwards instead. It cooked in about 33 minutes and was absolutely delicious. It didn’t look like your photo, nice and rounded, but who cares when it tasted this good. I will definitely make it again and maybe try bread flour instead of plain flour. Thank you, I just lived it.

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