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No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe

This no-knead cranberry walnut bread recipe is loaded with dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts. Perfect for Thanksgiving, this loaf requires amost no hands-on time. It is perfect for beginners and honestly if you love bread, you will love this recipe!

With Denver dropping into the freezing digits over the weekend and delivering a foot of snow to our nighborhood, I figured it was a good time to bake this no-knead cranberry walnut bread recipe.

It is very similar to this no-knead bread recipe that I made so many years ago.

Just a few tweaks to that recipe and I came up with a loaf similar to Costco’s cranberry walnut bread that sells for $8.99 a loaf.

​Perfect for toasting or sandwiches, I thoroughly enjoyed mine sliced and then smeared with molasses butter.

If the holiday season has you wanting to give a unique homemade gift, this delicious bread with crunchy walnuts and dried cranberries is a great way to impress your friends.

cranberry walnut bread recipe in dutch oven


Tips for Making this Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe:

The first thing to know about making this golden brown loaf is that different yeasts, like active dry yeast, require activation in water.

That means when you are ready to make this bread, active dry yeast will have to first be mixed with warm water.

I used instant yeast so I mixed it in directly with my flour.

No need to activate it, just make sure the date on the package has not expired.

This no knead cranberry walnut bread recipe is made with all-purpose flour.

No need for bread flour in this recipe.

To give this artisan loaf some extra nutty and hearty flavor, I subbed in some dark rye flour for the all-purpose.

Don’t confuse dark rye flour with rye bread with caraway. I hate caraway! 

And if you don’t have rye flour then by all means continue with regular flour or even add whole wheat in place of the rye flour.

Just don’t make this all whole-wheat or you will end up with a hard loaf.

cranberry walnut bread recipe sliced on cutting board

​One other thing: no need for a stand mixer for this easy bread recipe.

If you have never made or eaten artisan breads, you are in for a treat.

With a crusty chewy crust and a soft interior, this cranberry bread is made in a Dutch oven.

The Dutch oven, with the lid on, helps contain the steam the bread produces while it bakes, which gives this artisan loaf the crust you often find only from bakery breads.

Don’t have a Dutch oven?

Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven on the middle rack.

Then place a big metal pan full of 3 – 4 cups of boiling water on the bottom rack of your oven and quickly shut the oven door!

This helps create steam which gives this bread its wonderful texture.

cranberry walnut bread recipe sliced

Time to make this simple 6 ingredient cranberry walnut bread recipe. 

Be prepared to be amazed if this is your first time. And even if it isn’t!

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients consisting of all-purpose flour, the rye flour if using, brown sugar, salt, yeast, dried cranberries and walnuts.

If you like a little orange zest can also be added to the flour mixture.

Stir well.

With a floured wooden spoon slowly add the warm water while stirring.

The bread dough will be sticky so sprinkle a little flour on the sides of the bowl and using floured hands coax it into a ball-shape.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours to let the dough rest.

cranberry walnut bread recipe on cutting board with molasses butter

​It won’t look pretty but this long rise time allows the dough to ferment which affects the taste, texture and volume of the bread.

When ready to bake use floured hands and turn the dough onto floured parchment paper that fits into your Dutch oven. 

Shape into a smooth ball and score the top of the bread in an x-shape.

Let the dough rise for 30 minutes while the oven temperature preheats to 475 degrees. 

Place the Dutch oven with its lid on inside the oven while it preheats.

After the dough has risen, carefully remove the lid from the hot 6-quart Dutch oven and place the parchment paper holding the dough inside.

Cover and let bake for 25 minutes WITH the lid on. Be careful. It is hot!

After 25 minutes, remove the lid and let the bread bake for 5 to 8 minutes more.

cranberry walnut no knead bread round

How to test if this cranberry walnut bread recipe is ready:

To test to see if your bread has baked, give it a light thump to see if it sounds hollow.

OR use an instant-read thermometer and insert it into the center of the loaf.

If it reads 195 degrees, it is ready to be removed.

Use the parchment paper to lift the bread out of the pot and place the warm homemade bread on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.

cranberry walnut bread recipe sliced

While the loaf bakes make the molasses butter by combining 1 stick of softened butter with 1 T of brown sugar and 1 T of molasses.

It is a great change from honey butter!

If you have never made bread, this cranberry walnut bread recipe is a great way to begin.

Practically mistake-proof, this bread recipe, with 6 basic ingredients, is easily kept in an airtight container for a few days.

Honestly, mine never makes it that long!

However, this cranberry walnut bread recipe is now being lovingly stored in my freezer until I thaw it, warm it up and serve it on my Thanksgiving table.

Yes, you could add other dried fruit such as chopped apricots or raisins, but cranberries seem so fitting for Thanksgiving.

Every year I wonder how Thanksgiving comes so quickly!

This year the kids will be home and I must admit that I am grateful.

We have so much to be thankful for.

This bread takes little time to make. Make a loaf and save it for Thanksgiving. 

It will soon become your favorite thing and the best part is how good your home smells with fresh bread in the oven!

Well, that and slathering it with soft molasses butter.

Need Some More?

Quick No Knead Artisan Boule Bread Recipe

artisan boule bread recipe on parchment paper

Best Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk biscuits

No-Knead Yeast Rolls

easy yeast rolls

Maple Glazed Challah Rolls

Maple Glazed Challah Recipe

Looking for the original No-Knead Bread Cookbook? This is where it all began!

This post contains affiliate links from which I may or may not earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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cranberry walnut bread recipe

No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Total Time: 18 Hours*
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Cuisine: American


This delectable no-knead bread recipe is made with lots of chewy cranberries and plenty of crunchy walnuts. Quickly put together, it can sit up to 18 hours at room temperature before you bake it.


Units Scale

2 .5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 c dark rye flour or use all purpose flour

1/2 t instant yeast

2 T brown sugar

1.5 t coarse salt

3/4 c coarsely chopped walnuts

3/4 c dried cranberries

1.5 cups warm water


In a large bowl stir the first 7 ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Slowly stir in the warm water. The dough will be sticky. Using lightly floured hands shape the dough into a ball as best you can. No need to put this into another bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. The dough will double in size, be covered in bubbles and still stick to the sides of the bowl.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a smooth ball and place on a piece of parchment paper that fits into the Dutch oven. Place it back into the bowl so the dough will not spread while it rests.

Using a sharp knife make an x across the top of the loaf. Cover lightly with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with the Dutch oven with its lid on, inside the oven. After thirty minutes remove the lid from the Dutch oven carefully. IT IS HOT! Place the dough with the parchment paper into the Dutch oven and place the lid on the pot.

Bake 25 minutes with the lid on. Remove lid and bake for 5 – 8 minutes more or until the loaf sounds hollow when thumped or until an instant thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads 195 degrees.

Remove the pot from the oven and carefully lift the loaf out of it by holding onto the sides of the parchment paper. Place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes.


Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw in fridge and allow to come to room temperature before eating.

Thanks Sally’s Baking Addiction for inspiration.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Linger, Kristy Murray

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

What a sensational seasonal bread recipe. It definitely screams "Fall" in every sense. There's nothing like a rustic loaf of bread and yours looks so enticing. I just want to slather a piece with butter and indulge. Thanks so much for sharing.