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No-Knead Cranberry Bread

Say hello to the incredible, crusty No Knead Cranberry Bread! No kneading. No bread machine or mixer necessary. 4 ingredients only.

You can even say it’s almost magical.

Slices of No-Knead Cranberry Bread

Making bread the no-knead way…

It’s like a bread that 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. And it truly is.

The things you need besides the ingredients it calls for –

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 bread fills my home, it makes my stomach and my heart very happy.

That is why one of my favorite breakfasts is fresh baked goods along with a cup of coffee. Because crusty bread + coffee = the way to my heart/lots of love and joy.

Okay – back to the topic at hand. This No-Knead Cranberry Bread.

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!

I might be putting words in her mouth on that last sentence 😉 , but the point I’m trying to make is – she really, really loves bread. Like a lot a lot.

When she and my dad visited us last October, she made these no-knead breads 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 have 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.

Top down view of no knead bread in a dutch oven

Let’s Make No Knead Cranberry Bread

Give yourself about 24 hours between starting the bread-making process and actually consuming the bread.

So if you are in a big hurry to consume bread, this 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 it does take about 20 hours from start to finish, you actually do work in the kitchen for 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 and form dough.
  • Rise for 18 hours
  • Gently mold the dough into a ball and place on dutch oven lined with parchment paper
  • Let it rise for another 2 hours
  • Bake!
  • Enjoy the fruits of your (very minimal) labor!
Dough after the 18 hour + 2 hour rise time

Tips and Tricks

  • 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.
  • Through the dough making process, dough 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

Why it’s great!

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 this?

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 should be fine!

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 festivity to some No-Knead Cranberry Bread. You’ll love it and you’ll want it in your life forever!

Other Bread Recipes

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! 🤍

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 10 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




26 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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      Thank you so much! Yes! It’ awesome – a bread-making life-changer!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  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 Iโ€™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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  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 โ€” you just can’t get in a hurry โ€” 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Nikki Lee says:

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

    1. Joyous Apron says:

      It’s the best! ๐Ÿ™‚

  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.