No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

Updated: Aug 18th, 2021 · By Bethany Kramer
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Homemade cranberry walnut bread with the crunchiest crust, doughy inside, and requires no kneading at all (hoorah!). A delicious bread to compliment any meal that is perfection when toasted! 

Hands holding baked bread above a white counter.

Homemade bread is the perfect baking activity, and lucky for us, it’s quite easy to do (especially when no kneading is needed). You’ll love the flavor of this sweet and nutty bread! Allowing the dough to rise for a period of time is key to attain that PERFECT crusty top and doughy center.

We also bake this bread in a dutch oven to trap as much heat as possible. This is where that crusty texture is developed. It’s such an easy bread recipe! So if you’re new to baking bread, this is pretty much “fool proof”.

This specific recipe was inspired by our beloved dutch oven cinnamon raisin bread that so many readers have enjoyed! We hope you love this bread just as much. <3 Carb lovers unite.

Ingredients – What You’ll Need

  • yeast: instant yeast or dry active both work in this recipe. Below we explain different steps you’ll need to take when using one or the other for homemade bread.
  • flour: I used all purpose flour for this specific recipe.
  • sugar: my favorite sugar to bake with is coconut sugar because it’s a natural unrefined sweetener. If you do not have access to this sugar you can swap for brown or white sugar.
  • cranberries: I recommend unsweetened dried cranberries.
  • walnuts: You can also swap for pecans too! But we love the crunch and thickness of walnuts better.

How to Make Cranberry Walnut Bread (no kneading required)

  • activate the yeast with warm water (skip this step if using instant yeast).
  • stir in rest of ingredients until combined. Dough should be slightly sticky but not too much.
  • Don’t touch the dough too much, just roll it out from one bowl to a large greased bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for 10-12 hours.
  • Use floured hands to form dough into a ball on a floured surface (try not to handle it too much). I like to tuck the peaces underneath the bottom until the top smooths out a bit.
  • Line dutch oven or pot with parchment paper and place dough in center – sprinkle bottom of paper with flour so bread doesn’t stick. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake for 10 minutes uncovered until golden brown.

Using Different Types of Yeast

Active dry yeast: You’ll need to take different steps when baking bread with different yeasts. If you have active dry yeast on hand, you will need to activate it in water before adding flour (this step is included in the instructions).

Instant yeast: If you have instant yeast, you can skip dissolving it in water and stir it into your dry ingredients before adding water. Instant yeast has super small granules compared to active dry yeast so it does not need to be activated in water first.

Hands holding two halves of cranberry walnut bread.

Tips for Bread Making

Every oven is different: keep this in mind when baking bread. Some ovens can get much hotter than others and cause the bake to happen much faster. Check on the color of your bread in the last 15 minutes – pull when it’s golden brown on top.

Flour the bottom of the parchment paper: Don’t forget after lining the pot with parchment paper to sprinkle a little flour on the bottom so the dough doesn’t stick.

Keep your proofing temperature consistent: when the dough is “proofing” or rising, make sure the temperature of the room is consistent. You don’t want it to be too hot or too cold. I like to put the dough in the oven (settings OFF) and place the oven light on. It’s a climate controlled area and the light creates a small amount of warmth that will encourage the dough to rise.

Why Using a Dutch Oven is Best

Dutch oven pots are made of heavy cast iron that radiate a lot more heat than a typical bread pan. It’s an excellent way to trap moisture with the bread and create a crunchy crust through the high heat!

Storing & Freezing Tips

Keep leftovers fresh by storing in a ziplock bag in refrigerator and heat in oven or toast when ready to enjoy.

Freeze bread by storing in a freezer-friendly bag for up to 2 months. Remove, thaw, and reheat at 350 until warm in oven.

Slices of cranberry walnut bread.

Our Favorite Way to Serve It

This bread is beautiful served alongside any hearty meal or for soup dipping. We also love toasting it and spreading with butter and a drizzle of honey! So so good.

We hope you love this bread just as much as we do! The crust is so crispy, crunchy, with a beautiful doughy inside with all the best textures and sweet flavor.

Happy baking!

No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

5 from 7 votes
Homemade cranberry walnut bread with the crunchiest crust, doughy inside, and requires no kneading at all (hoorah!). A delicious bread to compliment any meal that is perfection when toasted!
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 40 minutes
Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for handling)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast (see notes)
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar (coconut sugar or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 (heaping) cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 (heaping) cup walnuts (chopped)

Instructions

  • Activate yeast: in a large bowl, mix together warm water (110F) with sugar and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes. Note: sugar feeds yeast so it is great to include in this step.
  • Mix rest of ingredients: add to yeast mixture – flour, salt, dried cranberries, and walnuts. Mix until ingredients have fully combined.
  • Let dough rise: Lightly grease a separate bowl. Transfer dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 10+ hours. Tip: it's best to keep dough in a temperature controlled environment that isn't too warm or too cold.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Form dough: Lightly dust hands with flour and place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Without over-handling dough, form into ball – tuck edges underneath bottom to create a smooth top.
  • Transfer dough: Line dutch oven with sheet of parchment paper. Lightly dust the bottom of the paper with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. And carefully transfer dough to pot.
  • Bake: Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake additional 10 minutes. Note: Every oven is different, keep an eye on the bread the last 10 minutes. When it's golden brown pull from oven.
  • Let bread cool: Remove pot from oven, carefully use paper edges to lift the bread from the pot and let it cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing into.

Notes

Active dry yeast: You’ll need to take different steps when baking bread with different yeasts. If you have active dry yeast on hand, you will need to activate it in water before adding flour (this step is included in the instructions).
Instant yeast: If you have instant yeast, you can skip dissolving it in water and stir it into your dry ingredients before adding water. Instant yeast has super small granules compared to active dry yeast so it does not need to be activated in water first.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry walnut bread, how to make no knead bread, no knead bread
Freezer Friendly Yes
Author Bethany Kramer

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3.3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1.9mg | Sugar: 2.2g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg

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44 Comments

  • Helen says:

    I need to limit my sodium and I see this recipe for cranberry bread shows 1.9 mg of sodium per slice. 1 tsp of salt is 2,325 mg so this can’t be correct. Is the salt amt showing in recipe correct? Can bread be made with less salt or no salt? It looks delicious and would love to make it!

  • Linda says:

    Can I use self rising instead of all purpose flour

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Linda, I’ve never used self rising flour, but from what I know it consists of baking powder and cannot be used with a yeasted bread recipe such as this one. Your best bet is to find a self rising bread recipe and add in the cranberry and walnuts for flavoring!

  • Dawna says:

    What is the temperature of the bread when baked? What size Dutch oven?

  • Kathie says:

    Question – can you use swerve brown sugar as the sweetener ?

  • Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    This bread is absolutely delicious. This was my first time making it and it turned out perfectly. I did follow instructions exactly and I brushed some honey and granulated sugar on the top when it came out and was still warm ♥️

  • Di says:

    Just wondering if you could use fresh cranberries

    • Bethany says:

      Hi Di, I’ve not personally tested this recipe with fresh cranberries. They will most likely come out okay, but more tart rather than sweet.

  • Vickie says:

    I loved the idea of this bread, but a little discouraged at the first outcome. I followed the directions exactly, let it raise overnight, ~ 11 hours (maybe too long, not sure). Baked it accordingly…and after it was cooled, and cut into, it was not throughly cooked. I returned it to oven and cooked it for another 15 minutes. When it was sliced into, it still felt heavy and thick. We toasted some slices, but still doughy. Not sure what happened, but because I love the idea of this bread, I will try again

  • Jeanne says:

    Great recipe. Very forgiving. Never disappoints. It impresses everyone. Always coat it with honey and sanding sugar as soon as I take it out of the oven XXXOOO

  • Tim Martin says:

    Can I add some cinnamon to this bread without it affecting the recipe

  • Shay says:

    The directions say let rise 10 – 12 hours in 2 days places. The prep time states 18 hours and many comments indicate they let it rise 18 hours. Which is preferred?

    • Bethany says:

      Hi Shay! Sorry for the confusion. I ended up changing the times after testing this recipe a several more times. The new proofing time for the dough rising is 10-12 hours. Just changed the recipe card!

  • Albertina says:

    5 stars
    Tried this for the first time and wow the crust was amazing and the bread was not overly dense or heavy!

  • Carol Jewell says:

    5 stars
    This is our all time favorite bread! One of our favorite restaurants served this in a bread basket and I’ve wanted to know how it’s made ever since! So glad to finally have the recipe – it’s as good as I remember. Thank you!

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