No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

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 pan: 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 oven light on and place the bowl of dough directly underneath it for a more temperature-controlled environment.

Why Using a Dutch Oven is Best

A lot of no knead bread recipes use dutch ovens. Although it is not necessary, it’s an excellent way to trap heat with the bread and create a crunchy crust through 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!

If you tried this No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

Hands holding two halves of cranberry walnut bread.

No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

5 from 1 vote

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!

Servings 12
Prep Time: 18 hrs
Cook Time: 40 mins

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tags: cranberry walnut bread, how to make no knead bread, no knead bread
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 122 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer

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

  1. Activate yeast in warm water for 10 minutes (make sure water is no more than warm or the heat will kill the yeast).

  2. Add all of ingredients to yeast and water and stir together. If dough is too sticky dust a tiny bit of flour at a time.

  3. Try not to handle dough, just roll it from the bowl into another greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 10+ hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly dust hands and place risen dough on floured surface. Without over-handling dough, form into ball – tuck edges underneath bottom to create a smooth top).

  5. Place dough inside dutch oven lined with parchment paper and sprinkle of flour on the bottom to prevent sticking. Cover and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake 10 minutes. Since 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 for 15 minutes before cutting into and serving!

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.

Nutrition Facts
No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 122
% Daily Value*
Trans Fat 0.3g
Sodium 1.9mg0%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Sugar 2.2g2%
Protein 3.3g7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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14 Comments

  • Avatar for homular homular says:

    Thank you very much for providing the information.

  • Avatar for Sarah Sarah says:

    Hi! I’ve made this loaf a couple times now, and while delicious, it keeps coming out very dense. I’ve been letting it proof out on the counter, and it seems to double in size in maybe 6 hours, but then deflates by 18 hours. I know the more time it rests, the better the flavor, but wondering if I should do part of the ‘resting’ in the fridge or something to slow down the process or just bake it when it has doubled in size. It’s pretty warm here right now – probably 75-80 in my un-airconditioned kitchen. 🙂
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Sarah! I would say let the dough rest for less time, since it seems to deflate. Try half the time! You can also store it in your oven (with the light on) to keep the temperature consistent while rising.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

    • Avatar for Patrick Patrick says:

      I’m have the same issue (very dense loaf.) I was thinking about forming the loaf half way through the proofing so I don’t have to touch it when it’s ready to bake. And I like the idea about putting in the fridge for awhile and maybe proofing less as well. We’ll see how it goes. Great flavor though!

  • I notice you do not mention preheating the cast iron pot, most bread recipes ive made in a cast iron pot say to preheat just curious difference? Thanks

  • Avatar for amira amira says:

    can we use oat flour instead? thanks

  • Avatar for Sarah Sarah says:

    5 stars
    Just took the first bite of this bread and it’s AMAZING. I did the 18-hour rise and then baked inside a deep stainless steel pan with a glass lid for the recommended time. Will definitely be making this again!

  • Avatar for Pam Pam says:

    Did you heat the Dutch oven before placing dough in