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4.89 from 67 votes

No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread with Honey

This No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread with Honey is a delicious sweet bakery-style bread that's perfect for the holidays! Make it perfect with my easy pro tips for homemade bakery-style bread! 
Course Baking, Bread, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American, Appetizer, Baking, Bread, Comfort Food
Keyword cranberry nut bread, cranberry walnut bread, no knead bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Calories 189kcal
Author Chrissie (thebusybaker.ca)


  • 3 cups all purpose flour, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups water at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey, plus more for brushing on after baking or other vegan honey substitute


  • Start with a large bowl and a wooden spoon, and add your flour to the bowl. Measure the yeast and add it to one side of the bowl. Measure the salt and add it to the other side.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir the yeast into the flour on its side of the bowl first and then stir the salt into the flour on its side of the bowl. This will prevent the salt mixing directly with the yeast. Give the whole mixture a few good stirs to make sure everything is combined.
  • Add the cranberries and walnuts to the flour mixture and toss well to coat, and to make sure they're distributed evenly throughout.
  • Measure the water. Make sure the water is at room temperature; water that is too warm or too cold can kill the yeast and prevent the bread from rising at all. Add the honey to the water and stir with a fork to combine. 
  • Pour the water in and stir with a wooden spoon. The dough will be rough and a bit sticky, but that's normal.
  • Stir until all the flour is combined. This is not normal bread dough (there's no kneading involved in this recipe), so you don't need to be too concerned about the appearance of the dough at this point. Just make sure the ingredients are combined well.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. It's a good idea to ensure there's adequate space left in the bowl for the dough to at least double in size. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place and let it rise for 12-18 hours.
  • After the dough has risen for 12-18 hours, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (if you're using convection, 410 degrees. If your oven runs hot, 400 degrees). Place your Dutch oven with the lid on in the cold oven and let it heat up with the oven. If your dutch oven is black or dark-coloured on the inside, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 425. I recommend a 6 or 7-quart dutch oven for this recipe.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and dust it with flour so the dough doesn't stick to the paper. Rub flour on your hands and scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl, gathering it in your hands as best you can (it may feel kind of fluid and not at all like regular bread dough) and forming it into a circular loaf on the parchment paper. Don't worry if it still looks a little rough in places - this lends to the rustic look of this loaf. If your dough is very fluid, simply add an extra 1/4 to 1/3 cup of flour to the dough as you shape it.
  • Once you have it shaped, the dough needs to undergo a second rise (much shorter than the first). The goal is to handle the dough as little as possible at this stage because any amount of tugging at the rough can cause it to deflate after it has undergone its second rise. The next few steps will help prevent this. But don't worry if it deflates a bit. This bread dough is pretty forgiving.
  • Sprinkle flour over the top of the loaf and loosely cover it with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming over the dough. The flour also prevents the plastic wrap from sticking to the dough so when you take it off at the end of the rise, it doesn't disturb the dough and wreck the rustic shape you've created. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes. Your oven will also be preheating during this time (and so will your pot).
  • Once 45 minutes have passed remove the plastic wrap from the dough and trim the parchment paper into a circle closely around the dough. If it doesn't look like the dough has risen that much, don't worry about it. The loaf will puff up a bit when it hits the heat of the oven.
  • Remove the preheated pot from the oven and transfer the dough into the pot as carefully as possible by handling only the parchment paper. Place the lid on the pot and return it to the oven for 30 minutes. Don't open the oven during this time, and certainly don't take the lid off the pot; the crispness of the crust develops because of the steam that builds up in the pot during this 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes have passed, remove the lid from the pot and continue baking for another 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes have passed, remove the pot with bread from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. You'll probably hear it crackling as it cools - this is normal. Brush a little extra honey on the top of the bread now, if desired.
  • If you can, resist the urge to cut into the bread until it has pretty much cooled completely. The bread continues to bake on the inside even after it has been removed from the oven and cutting it too early could result in the inside becoming gummy or rubbery.



Quick rise method:

  • Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast instead of the amount listed in the recipe. 
  • Rise for 2 hours and follow the recipe directions after the rise time as written.

No Knead Bread Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. If you find your dough is too wet and fluid, add an extra 1/3 cup all purpose flour and stir until a shaggy dough appears. The dough should be slightly sticky but not wet. You can do this after the first rise as well, before you shape the loaf.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of Vital Wheat Gluten to the dough with the flour to create a very voluminous dough that rises beautifully every single time and isn't too dense (optional).
  3. I recommend a 6 or 7-quart dutch oven for this recipe, but any covered pot that's oven-safe can be used for this recipe. 
  4. If the bottom crust of your bread burns or becomes too hard or tough, it's likely that the bottom burner of your oven is too hot OR you're using a pot that's black on the inside (these conduct heat more efficiently than one that's a light colour on the inside). Try lowering your oven temperature by 25 degrees, using the convection setting, or using a different pot that's light in colour on the inside.
  5. Every person's oven is different, so it's a good idea to check on this bread about 15 minutes into the baking time if you know your oven runs hot, if you're using a gas oven, or if you are using the convection setting. 
  6. Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is correct. If your oven runs hot, lower the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees to be sure you don't burn the bread.
  7. Don't forget to dust the bottom of your pot with flour, or dust the parchment paper with flour (if you're using parchment paper as directed) so the bread doesn't stick. 
  8. During the last 15 minutes of baking if you notice the bread is becoming too brown simply remove it from the oven early. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 2mg