This homemade no knead bread with cranberries and walnuts is crusty on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside. Serve it warm and slather on butter or cream cheese for a delicious bite.
I first discovered cranberry walnut bread at my favorite place... Costco. They had samples of it with cream cheese and I was hooked.
The fluffy interior, crispy crust, nuttiness, sweetness and tanginess from the cranberries were a perfect symphony of texture and flavors.
I promise you're going to impress yourself with this homemade bread. This cranberry walnut bread requires no kneading, you're just letting the dough sit on the counter for 12+ hours.
I love keeping slices in the freezer for breakfast or a snack.
These would also make a great gift around the holidays. I wrap them in parchment paper and twine.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- It requires no kneading. All you need is time. I love making the dough the night before and baking it in the morning.
- It creates a fancy artisan style bread with minimal effort.
- It's easily adaptable for other mix ins. Try it with other dried fruits, nuts, or seeds.
- All purpose flour- use bread flour if you have it. The higher gluten content will result in a better rise.
- Sugar- you can also use brown sugar or honey.
- Salt- kosher salt preferred.
- Instant yeast- active dry yeast can also be used just make sure its proofed before adding it to the flour.
- Water- room temperature water is fine since we're going for a slower rise anyway.
- Dried cranberries- try other dried fruits like dates, raisins, or apricots.
- Walnuts- pecans, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds would also be delicious.
How to Make Crusty Cranberry Walnut No Knead Bread
- Make the dough.
- Let the dough rest for 12-18 hours.
- Preheat the Dutch oven and shape the dough.
- Bake and cool.
- Proof the dough for 12-18 hours. Since this is a no knead bread, we're letting the dough "knead" itself with time. The higher water content in the dough makes the gluten molecules more lively. This longer process also allows the dough to develop more flavor and air bubbles.
- Handle the dough gently. Don't overwork the dough when shaping. We want to keep as much of the air bubbles in the dough as possible.
- Score the bread and use a banneton. While this doesn't affect taste at all, placing the dough in a flour dusted banneton and scoring it will give the loaf an artisanal touch. Scoring is completely optional since the bread will naturally create it's own pocket to release steam.
- Let the bread cool completely. The bread will continue to cook as it cools and develop flavor. Slicing the bread while hot will result in a gummy texture and make it go stale faster. If you can't wait to dig in and will likely finish the loaf in one sitting, I recommend hand tearing the bread instead of slicing.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or gallon sized freezer bag at room temperature for 2-3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. I typically slice the bread, freeze, and toast directly from the freezer.
Bakeries add steam into their ovens to create the perfect crispy crust. An easy way to mimic this is by using a Dutch oven or any pot with a lid that is oven safe up to 450°F. As the bread bakes, the water from the dough releases steam to create the ultimate artisanal bread crust.
Preheating the Dutch oven ensures a burst of steam is released when the dough is placed in the pot. After joining a couple of sourdough and bread making Facebook groups, I read that some people don't preheat their Dutch oven. I tried this method and realized the result is fairly similar to a preheated Dutch oven. You don't get as much oven spring in a preheated Dutch oven versus a cold Dutch oven but the differences are minimal. If you're looking to save some time, you can bake in a cold Dutch oven.
You can definitely make this bread without a Dutch oven.
Place the bread on a piece of parchment paper and bake on a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Place a pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven or spray the loaf with water to create steam.
You can also use an enamel roasting pan instead of a Dutch oven.
These methods will result in varying cooking times and browning in the crust.
A fully baked loaf is about 205°F in the center.
I will say that I highly recommend having a Dutch oven in your kitchen collection as it's a versatile pot, easy to maintain and retains heat.
I love this toasted with cream cheese. You can also slather on butter, honey butter, or jam. I bet this would taste amazing as a grilled cheese with brie or make a chicken salad sandwich.
More Easy Bread Recipes You'll Love
- Mozzarella and Cheddar Stuffed Cheesy Bread
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Chinese Hot Dog Flower Buns
- Pizza Stuffed Pretzel Logs
Crusty Cranberry Walnut No Knead Bread
- 3 cups all purpose flour bread flour preferred
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 ½ cups water
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries chopped
- ⅓ cup walnuts chopped
- In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast and water until combined. If there are still dry patches of flour, add a tablespoon of water at a time until all the flour is incorporated.
- Mix in the dried cranberries and walnuts. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 12-18 hours at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F with the Dutch oven and lid. Once it reaches temperature, allow the Dutch oven to preheat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and gently shape the dough into a ball or loaf. The dough will be sticky, don't add more flour. Place the dough smooth side up in a bowl lined with a piece of parchment paper large enough so that you can lift up the sides and place it in the Dutch oven. Sprinkle flour on top and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Remove the plastic wrap and carefully place the dough in the hot Dutch oven by lifting it using the parchment paper. Score the bread if desired with a knife. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is a deep golden brown color.
- Transfer the bread onto a cooling rack and let it cool for at least 30 minutes if serving immediately. Ideally, let the bread cool completely.
- Use bread flour for a better rise and airier loaf.
- Use a 6 quart or larger Dutch oven that is oven safe up to 450°F.
- A darker Dutch oven will brown the loaf more. I find that the bottom tends to brown faster so I recommend layering additional foil or parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. Another option is to reduce the temperature by 25°F.
- For a lighter crust, leave the lid on for the full 40-45 minute cooking time.
- If you're making more than one loaf, mix the dough in separate bowls.