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No-Knead Cranberry Bread

Say hello to the incredible No Knead Cranberry Bread! Crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, this yeast bread filled with dried cranberries that requires no kneading, bread machine or mixer.

And there’s more! This no knead cranberry bread recipe calls for only four ingredients, and very little effort to go along with it…making it one of the most ridiculously easy yeast bread you’ll ever make!

Slices of No-Knead Cranberry Bread

Some of my other favorite yeast breads on the blog includes Honey Butter Rolls, Cinnamon Raisin Rolls and Cheesy Garlic Rolls. Give them a try as well!

Cranberry Yeast Bread

This No Knead Cranberry Yeast Bread recipe is a low-touch, easy-to-make and delicious bread recipe that is a whole lot easier to make than it looks.

What I always tell people is that no knead cranberry bread is a bread recipe that pretty much just makes itself (and make itself super yummy, I might add), with a teeny tiny effort on your part.

It sounds almost too good to be true. BUT IT IS REAL – I promise!

The things you need to make no knead cranberry bread (besides the ingredients it calls for) –

  • time – this is probably the biggest thing to take into consideration. You will need to plan ahead and give yourself about 24 hours before you’ll get delicious, fresh, hot-off-the-oven cranberry yeast bread.
  • a dutch oven with a lid – that is at least 4.5 qt
  • parchment paper
  • a bread-loving and patient heart – technically this is not required, but definitely a nice-to-have 🙂

One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of fresh bread. Just like the smell of coffee, when the the smell of fresh no knead cranberry bread fills my home, it makes my stomach and my heart very happy.

Freshly baked No-Knead Cranberry Bread

I was first introduced to the concept of making bread the “no-knead” way by none other than my mom.

My mom loves herself some freshly baked bread, or just bread in general. If breads were to give her all the nutrition she needs to survive, she will probably eat bread all day, every day!

When she and my dad visited us last October, she made no-knead cranberry bread based on a technique she learned from the internet.

I will admit I was skeptical at first, but then it tasted so good I wanted to make some myself after she left.

So I consulted the internet. Because duh, the internet knows everything.

The basis of this recipe is inspired by this New York Times recipe. I made some modification, but the basic technique is all them. It is genius, because it simplifies bread-making and makes it so accessible to everyone.

Ingredients

To make no knead cranberry bread, you’ll only need four ingredients. Yes, FOUR. I was shocked to find out this is all there is to it. But it surely is.

  • bread flour – the ideal flour to use when making yeast breads. It yields a chewier and more structured product, so perfect for bread making. All-purpose flour can be used in a pinch, but the texture will be less desirable.
  • salt
  • instant yeast – this comes in either small envelope packets or in bottled form. Instant yeast works a lot better than active dry yeast for this no knead cranberry bread recipe
  • dried cranberries – brings bites of sweetness and tartness to the cranberry bread. I love finding surprising bites of dried cranberries all over! Or use another dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricot etc
Top down view of no knead bread in a dutch oven

Let’s Make No Knead Cranberry Bread

It takes about 24 hours between the time you start making no knead cranberry bread and the time it is done.

So if you are in a big hurry to consume bread, cranberry yeast bread may not be the best recipe for you. Check out some quick bread recipes instead, like this Apple Cinnamon Bread or this Blueberry Bread with Crumb Topping.

Or, if you ant yeast breads that will take a few hours (instead of 20 hours), I’ve got some good ones for you. Cheesy Garlic Rolls and Honey Butter Rolls are some of my favorite breads to make as well!

Even though no knead cranberry bread does take about 20 hours from start to finish, you actually do work in the kitchen for only 10-15 minutes or so. The rest of the time is just passive time letting the bread do its thing.

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this No-Knead Cranberry Bread:

  • Combine all ingredients – bread flour, instant yeast, salt, dried cranberries and water, and form dough.
  • Rise for 18 hours – because we are no kneading or mixing the bread, it will need the full 18 hours for it to rise and do its thing. Do not cut this time short if possible! When it is done, dough should double its original size.
  • Gently mold the dough into a ball and place in dutch oven lined with parchment paper
  • Let it rise for another 2 hours in the Dutch oven.
  • Bake!
  • Remove cranberry yeast bread from Dutch oven and let it cool.
  • Enjoy the fruits of your (very minimal) labor!
Dough after the 18 hour + 2 hour rise time

I highly recommend enjoying no knead cranberry bread warm.

It should be soft and chewy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and loaded with bites of tartness and sweetness from the dried cranberries sprinkled all through out the bread.

It’s SO simple, yet so delicious. And your home is smell amazing!

Additional Notes/ Tips and Tricks

A few things to note when making this lovely no knead bread with dried cranberries:

  • Do not cut short the waiting time. It does take a while, but the yeast needs time to do its work because we are not kneading it. So, patience is key here. 😉
  • For the 18 hour rise time, I typically start this process in the afternoon so I can work with the dough in the morning.
  • 18 hours later, some parts might look a little dry, and that is okay. After baking you will not even notice the dryness. The dough dries up a bit after sitting in dryer air, especially in the winter.
  • Dough for cranberry yeast bread will look sticky, shaggy, and let’s be honest, kinda ugly. But fear not, you will not be making ugly bread. It’s just ugly in the process.
Mixing dough for No-Knead Cranberry Bread
Combining all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl

Serving Suggestions

What I love about about this recipe is it is so versatile. It’s the perfect festive, holiday bread. It’s also perfect with some butter melted on it to be consumed any time, any day.

It’s perfect with peanut butter and jelly. It’s perfect for breakfast served with a side of scrambled eggs. It’s perfect to be made into a turkey sandwich.

The possibilities are endless, my friend. ❤️

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you use a dutch oven for no knead cranberry bread?

For two main reasons: 1) Dutch oven has a lid and it seals well, 2) both the dutch oven and the lid can be heated at a very high heat (at least 450℉). I highly recommend using a Dutch oven for this, but if you are looking to use another appliance, make sure it does both of the above.

Can I substitute instant yeast with active dry yeast?

I would stick to instant yeast since we are not activating the dry yeast in warm water (which is how active dry yeast gets activated and works best).

Can I use all purpose flour instead of bread flour?

Yes that works, but bread flour is ideal as it produces a more structured and chewy bread.

What is the best way to save leftovers?

Store airtight in a ziplock bag, and I highly recommend consuming it within 1-2 days. Since there are no preservatives (which is a GOOD thing), it will need to be stored in the fridge after the second day if it is not consumed by then.

Butter on a slice of No-Knead Cranberry Bread
Serve it warm with butter…yum!

Kick off your holiday festivities to some No Knead Cranberry Bread. You’ll love it and you’ll want it in your life forever!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS RECIPE? Please comment below and give us a 5-star rating! This will help others find this recipe on Google and Pinterest. We very much appreciate your help! 🤍

Other Bread Recipes

Crusty bread with dried cranberries in dutch oven

No-Knead Cranberry Bread

No-kneading required and so easy! Crusty on the outside, and soft on the inside, the No-Knead Cranberry bread is festive and perfect for the holidays, but is also great for any day! Highly recommend serving warm with butter! Or spread some peanut butter and jelly on it, or make a sandwich with it!
5 from 28 votes
Print Pin
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Rising time: 20 hours
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 291kcal
Author: MinShien

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, bring together bread flour, salt and instant yeast. Mix well, then add dried cranberries and water. 
    Mixing dough for No-Knead Cranberry Bread
  • Mix well again, and shape it into a ball-like shape. Dough will be sticky and may be slightly lumpy – and that is ok!
    No-Knead Cranberry Bread dough shaped into a ball
  • Cover with a cloth and let dough rise for 18 hours.
  • Bring dough to the middle of a large sheet of parchment paper. Gently mold dough into a shape of a ball. Lift up parchment paper (with dough on it) and put it into a dutch oven.
  • Let it rise for another 2 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake bread covered with lid for 30 minutes. Then uncover lid and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Cool bread for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

This post was originally published on December 2018 and updated on Nov 2021.

Nutrition

Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Take a pic and tag me at @joyous.apron, or hashtag #joyousapron on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating




32 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    i successfully made no knead cranberry bread! i am so happy that it turned out so well, was so simple & easy to make. and it tastes so good. Had some friends over for breakfast. They love the quality of the bread & impressed by your so easy to make recipe and they are going to try making it!
    thank you for the recipe!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you for trying it! I am glad you and your friends like it!! πŸ™‚

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! Yes! It’ awesome – a bread-making life-changer!! πŸ˜€

  2. Can this bread be made in a regular bread pan or a king Arthur Flour Pain De Mie Pan ?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Hi Darla! As long as the pan can withstand the high heat I think it should be fine.

  3. Is there a reason not to immediately put it in the parchment lined Dutch oven & raise it for 20 hours? As you can see I’ve never made bread!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I think that would be fine too! After 20 hours of rising, you will need to mold dough into a round shape and let it rise further. It might be trickier to do that in the parchment lined dutch oven, but definitely not impossible! πŸ™‚

  4. Barbara M. says:

    I’ve tried a few no knead savory breads with the same Dutch Oven technique but have not tried one that’s a sweet bread with dried fruit. I love the combination of orange and cranberry too. Do you think adding half orange juice and half water along with some grated orange peel in addition to the cranberries would be okay to try in this recipe?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      You can try grating some orange peel into this, but I will stick to just water and no orange juice! I have not tried it but I think orange juice will not work the same way as the water would with the yeast.

  5. Could I substitute fresh cranberries for dried?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Since it will be sitting out for a day or so I highly recommend dried cranberries for this!

  6. Sheila Thigpen says:

    5 stars
    This bread is amazing! So simple to make β€” you just can’t get in a hurry β€” and so fulfilling to know it is possible to make homemade bread without a lot of fuss!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s wonderful Sheila! Enjoy your homemade breads! πŸ™‚

  7. Kathleen Pope says:

    5 stars
    One of our very favorite breads! So easy and really very hands off, then the house just smells amazing!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      That’s right! It smells just as good as it tastes! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing and I’m glad it’s a favorite of yours!

  8. Julie Menghini says:

    5 stars
    Your bread recipes are gorgeous and absolutely delicious! I had a lot of fun making this one and will be making it again for Thanksgiving!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! Happy to hear you are looking to make this again! πŸ™‚

  9. Nikki Lee says:

    5 stars
    Gotta love a beautiful and easy no-knead bread recipe!

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      It’s the best! πŸ™‚

  10. I have made no knead breads that require the dutch oven to be pre heated then add the raised loaf. Is there a reason to skip that step. I will try it you way.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Pre-heating the Dutch oven first will make the dutch oven itself warmer, but I haven’t found it necessary in my experiments with this recipe!

  11. How would you make changes to this recipe for high-altitude baking? We live at 7000 feet and yeast bread often over-inflates and falls..

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      For high altitude add more flour and depending on your altitude you might need to use a little less yeast. Check out my friend Kathleen’s recipe for a similar bread – she bakes at high altitude, perhaps that could help you a bit!

  12. Can’t wait to try this bread! Just wondering, could I exchange cranberry juice for some of the water; perhaps 1/3 cup?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      I have not tried it and I do not know how it would interact with yeast. So the safest thing to do is to stick to water.

  13. I made this with the family and it turned out great! I love that I didn’t need to knead the bread and how simple it came together.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Yay! So glad to hear that!

  14. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing! I’ve been looking for a simple no knead bread recipe and I love this one. Especially with the addition of cranberries. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thanks Dee! Please do! I hope you love it.

  15. I’m just trying this recipe for the first time. I’m just doing the initial rise.
    I’m a pretty good cook, but I can’t really bake, so I’m hoping this works for me. But wondering if I can substitute the cranberries for a garlic cheese bread the next time I attempt this? Or, are there any additional ingredients that I can substitute?

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      You can definitely add garlic instead of dried cranberries, but since it will be sitting out for 18 hours+, I wouldn’t add anything that needs to be refrigerated (like cheese). Other good ingredients to add are dried fruits and nuts.