An easy no-knead Cranberry Walnut Bread perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. With a hint of honey, tart dried cranberries and rich nuts, this bread will shine at any holiday gathering.
Are you looking for a delicious but easy side dish, appetizer or dessert? This EASY no-knead cranberry walnut bread is a fantastic choice. Let me tell you why.
This bread is a great choice for the holidays not only because of the flavors but because of how simple it is to make. No kneading required!
You will still need to stir and incorporate all the ingredients but rest assured, you won’t have to skip your regular arm workout because you made cranberry walnut bread.
This bread is kind of magical. It rises over night (up to 24 hours). As it rises the air bubbles stretch the dough and help gluten develop. This is what gives artisan bread that distinct, chewy texture we all love. This process replaces the need to knead the dough.
NOT EVERYONE LIKES CRANBERRY WALNUT BREAD. TRY THESE OTHER NO-KNEAD BREADS:
VERSITILE SWEET OR SAVORY:
This bread is not only easy to make but is also versatile in the sense that it can be made sweet or savory.
The base of this no-knead cranberry walnut bread is mostly savory with a hint of sweetness from the dried fruit. It can be served as an appetizer by adding a little spread of goat cheese to the top or sliced and buttered as a side dish.
If you’re looking for an easy snack or dessert that packs a little more sweetness, slice and add a drizzle of honey or top with a whipped honey butter. You can soften the crust by glazing it with honey also. It’s truly magical and my favorite way to enjoy this no-knead cranberry walnut bread.
EASY AND INEXPENSIVE TO MAKE:
I love this bread because of how easy any inexpensive it is to make (especially compared to bakery prices).
The amount of work involved in preparing this no-knead bread is minimal only taking about 5 minutes. The dough is meant to be prepared a day ahead to allow it to rise and gluten to form. This process makes it even more manageable for the holidays.
The most expensive part of this bread are the dried cranberries and walnuts. I keep an eye out around the holidays for whole dried cranberries and walnuts as they often go on sale at our local warehouse store (Costco). We were fortune to have a neighbor with a walnut tree that gifted us their walnuts this year.
To make a loaf of this no-knead cranberry walnut bread at home cost us well under a dollar to make this year. Had we purchased walnuts rather than getting them for free, it would have been closer to $1.50 per loaf. Not bad when you consider a loaf of cranberry walnut bread from a bakery costs $7-$10, sometimes more.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY WALNUT BREAD:
This no-knead bread recipe is really easy to make.
First, in a large bowl add all ingredients together. Mix until all the flour is incorporated.
Next, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm (room temperature) place. It will hang out for 12-24 hours or until it has at least doubled in size. This rise time enhances and creates flavor AND develops the gluten which gives this bread its soft but chewy texture and crust.
Then preheat the oven with a dutch oven inside so the dutch oven can preheat also. Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Transfer the dough ball onto a sheet of parchment paper. the parchment will be used to lift the dough into the hot dutch oven.
Next, cut an “X” or other design into the top of the dough ball to allow steam to be released (an make your loaf look extra pretty when done baking). Carefully lift the dough using the parchment into the hot dutch oven. Cover with the lid and back.
Part way through the baking time you will remove the lid to allow the crust to brown and bread to finish cooking.
Optionally, you can glaze the bread with honey once it has cooled.
That’s it. So easy and perfect for the busy holiday season!
DO I HAVE TO COOK CRANBERRY WALNUT BREAD IN A DUTCH OVEN?
Sort answer, no there are other ways to achieve similar results but a dutch oven will be the easiest way to get the desired results.
As the bread cooks moisture is released. The dutch oven creates a steamy environment that allows the bread to still expand as it cooks and sets AND contributes to the beautiful crust that will form. Once the bread is set (but not cooked all the way through) the dutch oven is opened and the bread completes its baking uncovered. This allows the outside of the bread to become golden brown and create that crusty crust. It also allows the dough to finish cooking through.
This is when the bread goes from ugly duckling stage to beautiful swan. Seriously!
NO DUTCH OVEN? NO PROBLEM!
If you don’t have a dutch oven it’s ok, you can still make this bread. When preheating the oven, place a cake pan or oven-safe bowl of water on the very bottom rack. This will create a steam box for the bread to cook in. Essentially you are creating what a dutch oven creates just on a larger scale. Bake the loaf of bread on a cookie sheet or in a round cake pan (at least 8 inches wide).
Bake time may vary slightly with this method. When the cranberry walnut bread is done, the crust will be golden brown and bread will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can also check for doneness by temping the loaf. When done it the internal temperature will be 200-205°F. Be sure to use a calibrated thermometer for this measurement.
ARE YOU READY TO MAKE SOME NO-KNEAD CRANBERRY WALNUT BREAD?
HERE’S THE FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE. ENJOY!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, about 360-380g
- 1 cup walnuts, slightly chopped, about 75g
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, we like to use whole Crasins, about 75g
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- honey, optional
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together until combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (at room temperature) for 12-24 hours until the dough is bubbly and has doubled (or a little over doubled in size).
- Place dutch oven (at least 6 quart size) into oven. Preheat oven to 450°F. See notes for cooking instructions without a dutch oven.
- While oven is preheating, pour dough out onto a well-floured surface. Fold sides into the center to form a ball. DO NOT KNEAD! Once the dough is in a ball, place on a sheet of parchment paper (this will help you lift the dough into the hot dutch oven.
- Carefully cut an "X" in the top of the dough. This will help vent steam and give you that nice artisan-style top.
- When the oven is hot and ready, carefully open the hot dutch oven. Make sure you have a secure place to set the lid down, It will be extremely hot. Place parchment and dough inside the hot dutch oven then cover.
- Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes then remove lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until bread is golden brown, crusty and internal temperature is around 200-205°F. See Notes about thermometer.
- When done, remove bread from dutch oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cool for at least 45 minutes before cutting.
- Optional - Glaze top of bread with honey after it has cooled. Slice and serve with goat cheese and/or honey.
No dutch oven method:
When preheating oven, place a cake pan or large oven safe bowl or dish filled with water on the bottom rack. This will create the steam needed to form the beautiful crust and texture.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until top of bread is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200°F.
Thermometer- make sure to use a calibrated thermometer when temping the bread. Depending on altitude and thermometer, registering temperature can be significantly off if not calibrated.
Recipe can be cut in half to make a small loaf (great for 2 people) that can be baked in a 4 qt. dutch oven.
Storage - This bread can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge. At room temperature, it will keep for 2-3 days. In fridge, it will keep for up to one week.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g