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. I have baked bread before and I must admit, this is by far, the best darn recipe that I’ve tried!!! It is so easy and simple to follow. The best part is the no kneading. It actually tastes better than what I expected. My husband and daughter have toasted the bread and topped with cream cheese. I like it toasted plain. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  2. Paula Krenzke says:

    Love this recipe! We have changed up the fruit and nuts for variety. So far:
    Cherry pecan
    Date walnut
    Cherry almond ( with 1/2 tsp. Almond extract)
    Raisin walnut (with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon)
    All delicious! Thank you

  3. I have the dough in a glass bowl. It has only been 7 hours, but the dough has doubled and is bubbly. Can I go ahead and bake it, or should I wait the full 12 hours?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alexis, We recommend waiting the full 12 hours for the best flavor. Hope you loved it!

  4. I baked this bread today. At 7 hours it was double in size and bubbly, so I went ahead and baked it according to the directions. Insanely delicious. When I took it out of the oven I brushed it with honey. I just had a slice with cream cheese. Yes yes yes.

  5. I have tried your recipe a few times and always turns out delicious. However, the last time the dough is very sticky even though I follow everything. When I pre-shaped the dough and let it rest, the dough didn’t hold the shape but molded to the bowl, plus the gluten strands also developed with the side of the bowl. The dough also didn’t slide of the bowl easily. So, I had to do several round of pre-shape.
    Is this a sign that it’s not yet well proofed but I already proofed it more than 14 hours.

    After I let it rest longer on the counter longer and pre-shaped it a few more times along with stretch and fold, it can hold the shape. Do you know what cause this issue?

    For final proof, I put it in the fridge and it did help the dough to hold the shape better no more gluten strands develop. I did the poke test and don’t think it’s overproof. However, the crumb turned out very tight, it doesn’t rise as much as the dough expand on the side but still rise. Is it because I touch the dough too much? Not sure you have ever had this experience.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ann! This is a very different type of dough than a traditional yeasted bread. It’s wet and sticky and that’s completely normal – it’s a very hands off bread making experience! If it’s completely unworkable, feel free to add more flour on your hands and work surface. It’s best to follow the instructions in the recipe very closely for this method to work correctly. Thank you so much for giving it a try!

  6. Delia Green says:

    Hi Sally. I bake the cranberry and nut no knead bread today. Oh my goodness. I am so lazy to knead and my bread machine broke and I havent replaced it. Hubby and I sat in the verandah and just about polished it off with flashing of butter. So delicious and so easy. I used 200g white bread flour ans 190g brown bread flour and I used 25 g of chopped dried chopped apricots as I didn’t have enough cranberries. My biggest challenge was that I had to bake it in a gas oven, which I am not used to. I did bake it for 45 min instead of the 30min recommended as it didn’t sound hollow when I tapped it. But kn the whole mu new go to bread recipe. Now I’m going to try just a plain bread. Thanks again for all the extra tips as I don’t have Dutch oven either.

  7. Hello Sally, I made the Cranberry Walnut no Knead bread yesterday, baked it today and it was Fabulous! Thank so much for the recipe. Very easy to follow your instructions and so delicious! I will be making this bread very often. You are amazing! My husband loves it too. Thank you again!

    1. Haydee Baril says:

      Wonderful bread!

  8. Hi!

    I am wondering if you don’t mind checking the measurement for the amount of all purpose flour.
    I followed the recipe in gram to be more precise, but 390g was far less than 3 cups. I needed to add more flour almost about 1 cup.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Saera! How are you measuring your flour? Scooping will pack flour in too much, we always recommend spoon and leveling your flour. Here’s more on how to properly measure baking ingredients!

    2. Made this for the first time today; it was pretty successful! I measured the ingredients by weight but my dough came out waaaay more wet than pictured. The dough did not hold its shape at all and immediately re-sealed after I tried to score it. Still, although it made a very thin loaf it was cooked all the way and the texture was not too heavy. Next time I think I will just use slightly less water if it’s as humid as it’s been.

      I did mine in a stainless steel stock pot since that’s what we had that could go in an oven with a lid. Had to do 425 F for my paper, ended up being 30mins lid on, 10 off to get to 200 F internal temp. All of this worked well I think, would make again with the slight water adjustment.

  9. Catherine Barnes says:

    I was wondering as I do not have a Dutch oven, could I use a casserole dish which has a lid, it’s the standard Corning wear type?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Catherine! As long as it’s oven safe to high temperatures, it should be great. Otherwise see the section titled “No Dutch Oven? No Problem” in the blog post. Enjoy!

  10. Stephanie S. says:

    Hi! Do you think I could substitute pumpkin seeds for the chopped nuts? My gut tells me 1:1 substitution would be fine, but don’t know for sure if it would affect the dough. I’m really excited to try this recipe as I make the artisan bread recipe often and it’s such a hit 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stephanie, we can’t see why that wouldn’t work — let us know if you decide to give it a try!

  11. Could not be easier to put together and the results are impressive! Used a large stainless steel pot with lid. Not only does the loaf look like but it tastes as good as a loaf of cranberry walnut bread from a specialty bread store. Will make this often. Do you think I could swap raisins for cranberries and add cinnamon to the dough to get a cinnamon raisin type artisan bread?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jenny, we can’t see why not! Sounds like a delicious combo. Let us know if you give it a try.

  12. So good and so easy! I don’t have a dutch oven and my parchment only goes to 425, so I improvised using your tips (cast iron pan on bottom of the oven with boiling water and increased baking time of about 40 or so minutes in an 8 inch cake pan). I used the tap method and a thermometer to check for doneness and it turned out great. Scoring the wet/sticky dough was tricky – I found it easiest using my kitchen shears. I almost always have the base ingredients on hand, so I will definitely be making this frequently it is so easy. Thank you for the great recipe.

  13. Madeline Leonardo says:

    Hi Sally, my parchment paper is up to 400 degrees. How long do I bake?
    Also, do I put the parchment paper only on the bottom of the bread?
    Or all around the bread then drop the paper with the bread in it and then in pan.
    Thanks

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Madeline, we’re unsure of the exact bake time, but it will be a bit longer to compensate for the lower temperature. You’ll want the parchment paper on the bottom and up the sides, so that you can easily lift the parchment (with the bread) out of the dutch oven. See recipe photos for an example.

  14. So I’ve tried this recipe twice, bread is not rising. I did the Platinum yeast and let it set for 18 hrs ,but bread is “heavy”. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jackie! How are you measuring your flour? Make sure to spoon and level instead of scooping to prevent too much flour in your dough. This could result in dense bread that doesn’t rise. Referencing this baking with yeast guide may be helpful in the future as well. Hope this helps!

  15. To take out the guess work in determining if a loaf is ready, what would be the internal temperature of a baked loaf? I read that if your thermometer reads at 220 degrees, the loaf is ready. As this bread has a lot of fruit and nut, I don’t know if this will hold true for this recipe.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cecilia, we usually say about 200 for yeasted breads.

  16. Lidia Bayliss says:

    Yum! Made the bread with dried cherries and walnuts, my favorite combination. Thanks for this simple wonder bread recipe!

  17. I love this bread and make it frequently. It’s a serious competitor to Costco’s cranberry nut bread. I’m a Weight Watcher, and want to add it to “my recipes”. However, in order to get ‘points value’, I have to assign how many it serves, which I know is a ‘relative’ thing. Can you help? Thanks.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alyce, one loaf is typically about 8-10 servings. Hope this helps!

  18. In your option, is it better with bread flour or all purpose ?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. I always use bread flour– I recommend that one if you have it!

  19. Hi Sally,
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I used 2 cups bread flour and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour and followed recipe (** on active dry yeast, I used 3/4 teaspoon as this was showing the conversion for 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast). My dough has been fermenting for 11 hours now at room temperature (Northern Virginia). It will be 18 to 19 hours when I wake up in the morning and plan to bake first thing. I noticed the dough seem to rise faster than when I tried this recipe 2.5 weeks ago. What do you think is causing this? I do not want to wake up tomorrow with overflowing dough on my kitchen counter. I am using the largest pyrex glass bowl with lid to ferment my dough. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi CeeZim, it could be a couple factors. The temperature of your kitchen may be warmer, which is causing it to rise faster. Also, you can substitute active dry yeast at the same amount listed in the recipe with no other changes — the additional yeast may be causing it to rise faster too. Hope you enjoy the bread!

      1. Dear Lexi, thank you for your quick response. When I woke up this morning the dough did not rise any further (which is what I hoped for). I followed the rest of the recipe instruction, baked it and completely cooled. Am having this for lunch now. It is yummy. I will be baking this often as it is now my hubby’s favorite bread. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world. So easy to understand for me to follow the directions to the letter.
        Cheers and post Happy 4th July! Our fireworks in the City of Alexandria was last night.

  20. My bread came out very dense. Any recommendations? Or any idea what I could have done wrong?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katelyn, How are you measuring your flour? Make sure to spoon and level instead of scooping to prevent too much flour in your dough. This could result in dense bread that doesn’t rise. Referencing this baking with yeast guide may be helpful in the future as well. Hope this helps!

  21. Hi sally, can I replace sugar with honey? If yes, what’s the amount required? Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sherlyn, you could use regular sugar or even maple syrup in place of the honey. Hope you enjoy the bread!

  22. Hi, my bread sticks to the baking paper. Can you able to advise? Thanks.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  23. Can I use a 2qt dutch oven to make a half loaf. I usually use a 6qt but would like to make smaller loaves for gifts. Thanks

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carol! We haven’t tried it, but let us know if you do. The 2qt may be a little small for a half batch.

      1. I did try it and although I had to adjust the cooking time a bit they were perfect. I think this bread is foolproof. Thanks

  24. Can I use whole wheat bread for this?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mj, we don’t recommend using all whole wheat flour, but you can try substituting some of the all-purpose with whole wheat. The bread will be denser.

  25. Michael Monachelli says:

    can i use a cast iron dutch oven?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  26. Tastes like beer

  27. Hi – my dough did not rise much but I am at high altitude. Is there a high altitude adjustment I should make?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Marcy! We wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. We know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  28. Thanks for the recipe! It’s my first time baking and it turned out great. The inside of the bread seemed a little gooey(?) is this normal or should I bake a little longer? Thanks in advance.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jennifer, thanks so much for giving this recipe a try! The bread is definitely chewy, but if it seems a bit underbaked, an extra minute or two in the oven should help for next time.

  29. I have made the cranberry walnut bread twice, using dried cranberries and English walnuts, thinking about using black walnuts next time, has anyone else tried this? Put a little feta cheese and orange zest in the last loaf.

  30. This was my first bread and it didn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to make it again with different add ins.

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