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.”

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’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. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  8. 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

312 Comments

  1. Well, I was really excited about making this, got all the ingredients, even bought a new  Dutch oven but it all went down hill when I thought I had the water too hot for the yeast So I waited for it to cool, I think it cooled too much, because the dough rose.  So like someone else mentioned, I added more yeast with more flour and it did rise, but not a lot.  I went ahead and baked it, it wasn’t great. I’m not giving up, I’ll try it again and hope that I can get it right

  2. I’ve made this twice since you posted the recipe. So easy, but the best thing is how wonderful it tastes. I think I put more nuts than you called for, but that was a good mistake. We enjoy it just as is, slice and eat. Thanks for a recipe that I’ll be making frequently.

  3. I NEVER thought I could make amazingly chewy, crusty, delicious bakery-worthy bread like this! Thank you Sally! I even bought the dutch oven from the link you posted. I love it so much. I got the white colored one and it’s a beautiful warm cream color more than white. It looks lovely in my kitchen. The bread came out PERFECT. I can’t wait to make more and give as gifts too.

  4. I made this bread once and it turned out exactly as the recipe indicated–so delicious! I’m making again and wondered if there was a limit on the rise time–like don’t go above 18 hours? My 18 hr rise time will be done late at night and I’d rather not bake at 2AM, etc. Can you either let the bread sit on the counter after 18 hrs or put in the fridge until ready to bake the next morning? What would you recommend for a “gap” time between the initial rise time and the 30 minute pre-oven rise time? Thanks! It’s a great recipe and I’m excited to try it after the holidays without cranberries/walnuts…just plain? Or with other ingredients, etc…Open to any thoughts you have on the versatility of the basic flour/yeast/salt/water combo as the foundation to other recipes?

    1. Hi Tania! I don’t recommend going much past 18 hours. This bread is wonderful plain. I’ve had readers add cinnamon, chocolate chips and raisins; some have shredded cheese with luck too!

  5. This recipe turned out great, but the bottom got darker than I’d like. Any suggestions as to how I could modify the recipe to fix this issue? 

      1. Same problem with mine. My bottom burnt big time. I would suggest a lower temperature, especially for the first time.

  6. I just finished making this and it looks amazing! I’m trying very hard to wait the 30min cool time. I didn’t have instant yeast so I proofed my yeast with some of the warm water the recipe called for and followed the recipe exactly. I wish I could post a picture of the how gorgeous this bread looks. Will definitely be making this again 🙂

  7. OMG! So good – will admit I couldn’t wait the 30 mins. to cool (oops!) I have seen similar bread for $8.00 and I can now make it whenever I want (that could be dangerous). Thanks Sally!

    1. I had the same problem,  I  think if I had just dusted paper with a little flour it wouldn’t have stuck.  The loaf looks gorgeous though, can’t wait to taste it!

  8. I tried making this with whole wheat pastry flour and I’m not sure if that was my mistake; my dough wasn’t sticky at all, but rather pretty dry. It didn’t really raise in 18 hours, but did a little in the oven, and came out really dense, not fully baked in the middle and burning on the bottom.
    I don’t really like eating white flour if I have a choice so I’ll try this again and add more water until I get a better consistency.

  9. This bread was fantastic! It was so easy to make, and went great with a grilled chicken salad for dinner. It was equally as great the next day with breakfast, toasted and spread with butter. I was a little worried because my parchment paper was only good up to 420 degeees, but I just kept an eye on it, and no fires! 

  10. In the past two weeks since you posted this recipe I have made it at least 6 or 7 times! My family devours it in a matter of hours every single time I make it.  Definitely my new favorite recipe.

  11. Just made this for the first time and had some of same issues as others.  Great flavor, but the bottom burned badly and inside was a little bit underdone.  Parchment burned.
    Maybe raise pot to a higher rack and lower temp a little?  Will a little less water help?
    I’ve never baked bread.  Tastes good, though.
    Any advice??

  12. Hi Sally,
    I would love to make this recipe! It looks incredible! My parchment paper goes up to 420 degrees, would it be possible to lower my oven temperature to bake this (bake @420) and then increase the time it bakes for?

    I LOVE your recipes!

    Thank you 🙂

  13. I have never made any kind of bread involving yeast before this one and it was DELICIOUS! I have sent your page to family and friends to see if they will also make it (they loved eating it). I am inspired to try more breadmaking! Thanks Sally!

  14. Hi… I am definitely going to try this… I do not have a Dutch oven – is that the only method of cooking?  Can I use a crockpot?
    Thanks!!!

  15. I need to make 35 loaf pan sized loaves for our church Christmas dinner. I’m doing a trial run tomorrow to see how many a recipe can make. I can do round loaves or loaf pans, but I’m trying to figure out how to bake the with tightly crimped foil and a lower temperature to prevent burning. Any suggestions? The dinner is on the 12th. 

  16. You are CORRECT! I am going to memorize this recipe! Oh my goodness what a wonderful bread recipe – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I spend over $6 for this type of bread at my grocery store and now I can make it at home all the time. I feel it’s a wonderful recipe that can allow me to change the ‘yummy additions’.

    For folks who like to read reviews to see what others did or didn’t do: I completely forgot to use “instant yeast” and it still came out looking and tasting great. I let it sit for almost 20 hours before baking. I used an 8 quart dutch oven and baked it on 400 degrees with the lid on for 35 minutes. Then baked it without the lid on for 30 minutes. I did not let it bake until a dark brown since I will eat it throughout the week and put slices in the toaster.

  17. Hello I’m making this for the first time and my dutch oven is 5 qt . Will this be okay? It doesn’t look like alot of dough. Do you need more head space to cook properly? Thank you and I love all your recipes that I’ve tried so far.

    1. Hi Linda,

      I was just about to ask this same question.  Did you go ahead and make it in your 5 quart? How did it turn out?
      Thanks!
      Mellany

  18. I made this for an early Holiday dinner and boy!
    Amazing 🙂
    I want to make it again for a dinner with more guests, do you think I could double the portions? How would that affect rising time/baking time?
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes, you are lifesaver!

    1. I made 15 loaves for a church Christmas dinner, making 5 batches at a time. They all turned out perfectly. This is a very easy, very forgiving recipe that everyone at church wants! I was ecstatic about the reactions. Go ahead and make several batches at once!

      1.  Did any of you have trouble with the bottom burning?  I have a new gas stove—maybe the heat is too high?

      2. I didn’t have any problems other than one of the pans had a safe up to 400 degrees limit, so I reduced the heat to 400 and baked them covered for 45 minutes and uncovered for 20 +-. I baked 5 pans at a time and they were all perfect. I have an electric oven, though. 

    2. I made 15 loaves for a church Christmas dinner, making 5 batches at a time. They all turned out perfectly. This is a very easy, very forgiving recipe that everyone at church wants! I was ecstatic about the reactions. Go ahead and make several batches at once!

  19. Hi Sally! I’ve made this bread twice now and it’s awesome 🙂 I’m baking up some loaves as Christmas gifts, and am wondering how to store them overnight. Should they be wrapped in parchment and then plastic? I want to ensure it doesn’t dry out or get stale, but I know plastic makes the crust go soft… any suggestions? Thanks!

  20. Hi, Sally!

    I’m going to try this loaf today, but instead of cranberry and walnuts I’m going to use fresh candied ginger and pistachios! Maybe a little dark chocolate as well. I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂

  21. I have made this bread four times and it had been perfect every time! Now that I’ve made this version, I was wondering, would it be possible to adapt the flavour of the bread by changing the add-ins? For example, what would you think of adding cheese to the dough instead of the cranberries and nuts? Thanks!

    1. Hi Adriana! Readers have tried this no-knead bread recipe with other add-ins (including shredded cheese) in the dough. They loved it.

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