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!

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.”

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.

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. 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 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.

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.

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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; 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:

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

418 Comments

  1. Denise Mocharnuk says:

    Hi Sally. I used bread flour but 1/3 c. White whole wheat within the full measure. Also used 1 Tbsp. Blackberry Honey and had to add dried cherries to make up the lack of cranberries I had. I have to agree after following instructions to a “T” it lacked the rise I expected. I used the platinum yeast wirh 2022 expiration date, used a thermometer when I added water, left on the counter overnight and rose but definitely not doubled. Looks great after pulling from oven.

  2. Just made this today and turned out well. I substituted 2/3 whole wheat flour and sugar instead of honey. One issue was that the parchment stuck to the bread because the dough was very sticky. I also baked at 425 but the bottom still burned a bit. Can you oil the parchment to prevent sticking?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Anu, you can try adding some flour or corn meal under the dough to keep it from sticking.

  3. Ellen McIntyre says:

    Can this recipe be made into rolls? If yes, how many and bake for how long? Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ellen, 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!

  4. I love this recipe, it’s delicious but I keep having to deal with the same issues every time I make it. My dough is so wet I have to add in later on like at least an extra cup even after measuring to an exact 390 g of flour so I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. Also my top crust keeps cracking apart so much, is there a way to fix it? I’m not sure if it’s because of not scoring the X correctly or too wet or too dry idk what’s going I’d appreciate the help pls:(

    1. Hi Anyi, there are so many variables when it comes to making bread doughs including weather, humidity, way of measuring flour, brand of flour, yeast, etc. Adding more flour to make a workable dough is completely normal. Are you adding another 125g of flour? If the dough is too wet, the scoring on top may be separating too much which is why you’re noticing a larger crack. (Shouldn’t alter how the bread tastes though.)

  5. I was wondering if you can leave the dough for 24 hours instead of 18 hours.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharon, 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.

  6. Satarupa Bose says:

    Hey…Thank you for all your beard recipes..turns out perfect everytime. I DO HAVE a question regarding this bread my bread doubled within 4 hrs and had bubbles , my house is usually quite warm so do I still wait for another 12 hours or bake it right away? Also my dough has turned really wet after rising is it normal?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Satarupa! Yes, leave the bread for the full 12 hours for the best flavor. It’s ok if it’s getting a bit wet. You can shape it with some flour on your hands when the time comes. Hope you love it!

  7. Amazing recipe. This is the exact thing I was trying to recreate after trying the HEB bread with cranberries and pistachios. I love it. Thank you!

  8. Have made this yummy bread three times now. The first time, I followed the recipe exactly. It was good, but little two salty for our taste. Second time, I used himalayan salt, however, I forgot to follow the step to warm the dutch oven in the oven prior to inserting the dough. Bread still came out good, but was still too salty for us. The third time, I still used the himalayan salt, but added 1 extra tablespoon of honey and purposely did not warm the dutch oven in the oven (skipped that step). This time the bread was perfect, full of flavor and not too salty. In fact, am going to making it again today that way. This is wonderful bread!

  9. I don’t have a dutch oven, so made this with a cast iron pan (pre-heated in the oven) exactly as outlined in the alternate instructions. I also used bread flour instead of all-purpose. Fantastic bread, and so simple to make!

  10. It was super easy & delicious. Except my breads didn’t brown as photo..grayish. Thanks for sharing

  11. My parchment paper is rated to 425 degrees. When you say cook the bread a bit longer, how much is a bit?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lois, 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.

  12. Hi Sally love your No Knead breads…. question – if I wanted to make 2 smaller loafs out of this recipe what would the bake times be??? I have played around with it – baking for 15 min then lid off 5 and it didn’t turn out.. hope you can offer some suggestions.
    thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi G, we haven’t tested this recipe for two smaller loaves so can’t say for sure. Would love to hear if you find a baking time that works perfectly!

  13. The dough was really wet in the morning when I checked on it after proofing for 14 hours. Could I put it in the refrigerator to firm it up before forming it in a ball and scoring it? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cindy! The dough will be wet, no need to refrigerate it. Use floured hands to form it.

  14. This bread is amazing. I’ve been somewhat skeptical of no-knead recipes (admittedly, for no good reason) and this is the first one I’ve tried. I’m sold. I will never knead bread dough again. Well, maybe not never, but I’ll def be giving more no-knead recipes a whirl. For this round, I used pecans and raisins, baked at 425 for about 32 minutes, then lid off for another 11. Crusty, chewy, carby perfection!

  15. I’ve made this bread several times, and each time it’s come out perfectly. I recently received a sourdough starter and anxious to try baking this recipe using the starter. Any suggestions on how much starter I should use and what other modifications I should make to accommodate?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gloria, we haven’t tested this recipe using a sourdough starter so we can’t say for sure, but let us know if you give it a try!

  16. We loved the bread!! The only issue I had was the bread stuck to the parchment paper. I made it again at 425. The paper did not stick to the bread. The breads came out great. Love this recipe.

  17. Easy. Very Good!

  18. Just made this bread on Friday. AMAZING!!We loved it, it’s a keeper! I’ve made a substitution: replaced one cup of AP flour with one cup WW.

  19. It looks like everything that can be said has already been said about this spectacular recipe. And yet, having just baked a big loaf of it, I just have to add how swooningly delicious the bread is and how entertaining and helpful Sally’s written recipe was. I used broken pecans instead of walnuts and used half dried cranberries and half dried cherries. The loaf was gorgeous, brown, and crusty. I cut half of it into slices which I froze in a big ziploc bag to use for toast. So thrilled to have this recipe. After never having baked bread before, and after almost a year inside due to the pandemic, I’ve been cooking and now baking up a storm. Thanks, Sally, for this valuable addition to my recipe book!

  20. Hi Sally,

    Your recipes are fantastic! My family now thinks I’m a baking goddess thanks to you

    BTW, your artisan bread recipe also yields exquisite results…I am now confident to proceed with much more baking!

    My only question is in regards to the cranberries as sometimes they seem to burn on the top

    Any advice?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Laura! Thank you so much for your sweet review. If you notice cranberries sticking out of the dough on top prior to baking, you can gently push them in to the dough so they’re covered and less likely to burn. Hope that helps!

  21. Can i use this same recipe to make it more of a pull apart bread for rolls? i guess i’d have to shorten the bake time at a minimum?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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!

  22. Any tricks if your dough didn’t rise ‍♀️?
    Not sure why my didn’t
    Thank you
    Lisa

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa, is it possible that your yeast was expired? Or, perhaps the room it was rising in was too cold? We’d recommend taking a look at our Baking with Yeast Guide and hop down to the section titled “What if my dough isn’t rising?” to see if any of those reasons might be the culprit. Let us know if we can help troubleshoot further!

      1. Hi I am just wondering is it only 1/2 teaspoon yeast, first time baking bread

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Due to the long and slow rise time, 1/2 tsp is all that is needed. Hope you love the bread!

  23. Lauri Spinner says:

    Hi, this bread is really good and easy to make with great flavor and very impressive looking. However, I used two teaspoons of active yeast instead of the half teaspoon and let it rise for 12 hrs. It puffed up within 3 hours. Do you think that is why my bread wanted to fall apart after I cut it…too much yeast? Somehow I felt it would not rise enough with 1/2 tsp yeast. I didn’t want a dense bread either. I also used 3 tsp honey for extra flavor. My dough was not too dry or wet.

  24. Hi! This is mixed and sitting on my counter as we “speak”! QUESTION though… I use the Platinum yeast too (love!) but the stuff that comes in packets, vs. a jar. I was a little surprised that the recipe only calls for ½ teaspoon rather than the 2 ¼ that is usually contained in a packet…?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Morgan! Due to the long and slow rise time, 1/2 tsp is all that is needed. Hope you love the bread!

      1. Morgan Wood says:

        Oh dear goodness it’s delicious!!! And so easy… Thanks for my new go-to recipe!

  25. Made this dough yesterday with equal parts unbleached bread/whole wheat and sprouted spelt flours and baked it up this morning. Couldn’t find my honey and realized I’d forgotten it AFTER adding the water, added a splash of molasses to tiny bit of warm water. Baked it up this morning and I cannot get over how delicious it is. I didn’t think I could bake at home and get such a wonderful cheery/crisp crust. Sally your recipes never disappoint and I’m done with claiming I’m not a good baker anymore!

  26. Mary Ellen Blundell says:

    I’m new to yeast baking and have failed twice at this recipe. Yesterday the yeast I used was expired so I threw ever out and tried again using the recommended instant yeast. I mixed the first 6 ingredients and then added 95 degree water. Started it off in a slightly warm oven (heated to 150, let it cool a bit, put covered bowl in oven for 30 minutes, then closed door. Now almost 24 hours later, nothing has happened. It looks exactly as it did 24 hours ago. Help!

    1. I’m glad to help. It may just be that the dough is ready, but doesn’t necessarily look ready– did you try baking the dough after the 24 hours? What brand of yeast are you using. If you can get your hands on it, I love and recommend Red Star Yeast Platinum Yeast. It’s an instant yeast and works wonderfully in no knead dough recipes like this.

      1. Mary Ellen Blundell says:

        Thank you! I did use the recommended Red Star instant yeast but used 2/3 white whole wheat flour and 1/3 all purpose flour. I’m diabetic so I’m supposed to eat whole grain breads. I did bake the second batch after tossing the first one. It was pretty good but was solid. No air pockets. It rose only a small amount. I needed a change from my store bought whole wheat English muffins. Our house is kept cool temperature – only 68 degrees in heating season. I thought that may have been the reason it didn’t rise but it is probably the type of flour I used.

  27. I’m super super disappointed in this recipe. I think the instructions for it being super easy and no knead are misleading and the oven temperature is completely wrong. My bread came out both burnt and raw and the texture inside was terrible- it did not have any air pockets to chew at all. I put this bread together as instructed using white whole wheat flour and regular yeast that I activated in 1/4 cup of water. I used 25% more yeast (3/4 tsp) to account for it not being instant and included the 1/4 water to activate the yeast towards the 1 1/2 cups of water. The dough was not as sticky as mentioned, nor did it bubble the way it mentioned it would in the rise. I baked it in a Dutch oven at the recommended 475 temp for 25min with the cover on and then took it out after 9minutes with the cover off because it was burning. Tapping the bottom it sounded hollow but after letting it cool for over an hour I cut into it and found the center to be completely doughy and raw. I tried putting it back in the oven for another 25min at a lower temperature but it just continued to burn. I had hoped to serve this for a brunch I’m hosting and instead am throwing the whole thing out. Lesson learned- save yourself the trouble and buy a bakery loaf.

    1. Hi Kathryn, thank you so much for the feedback. This is a pretty popular on the website and I make it often. I don’t recommend white whole wheat flour in this dough– all-purpose regular white flour is ideal for the best results. It’s likely that the white whole wheat flour absorbed more liquid which is why the dough wasn’t as sticky as intended. If you ever try the recipe again, you can lower the oven temperature down to 425°F (218°C) so your loaf bakes more evenly. Thanks again!

    2. I’ve baked this bread many times (because after the first time people demand it :D). It always worked out even though I’ve never baked bread before I found this recipe. And I don’t have a dutch oven. After a while I started to mix in half part whole meal flour and noticed the changes, yes, it was not baking evenly, it is harder to achieve a good result this way. So yeah, no need to panic, it is better to stick to the original recipe.

  28. Can I mix orange juice into the 1 1/2 cups of water for a cranberry orange flavor? If so, how much?
    P.S. Loved your pizza dough recipe!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      For cranberry orange bread, we recommend adding the zest of 1 orange instead – no other changes necessary. Enjoy!

  29. This is my new go to “fancy bread” recipe. I’m a traditional bread baker and the sticky dough makes me nervous. Have confidence in this recipe. It comes out great every time. Thanks for the inspiration.

  30. Turned out perfectly!!!!!!!! Our family topped it with almond butter, honey and a little sea salt and it was heavenly.

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