cranberry walnut bread

$1.49 recipe / $0.12 serving

I was at the grocery store the other day and almost got sucked into buying a small boule of cranberry walnut bread for $1.99. It just looked soooo good. My hand was literally on the bread when I thought, “DUH, I can make this, with next to no effort, using the no-knead bread recipe!” And so I did.

…And they were perfect.

…And they cost less than half the price.

…And you can do it too.

Cranberry Walnut Bread

Cranberry Walnut Bread

4.3 from 4 reviews
cranberry walnut bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $1.49
Cost Per Serving: $0.12
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour $0.16
  • 2¼ cups bread flour $0.33
  • 1¼ tsp salt $0.05
  • ¾ Tbsp yeast $0.20
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts $0.42
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries $0.30
  • 1¼ cups water $0.00
  • 2 Tbsp cornmeal $0.03
  1. In a large bowl or pot, combine the dry ingredients (flours, salt, yeast, cranberries and walnuts. Cornmeal not included). Add the water and stir until a shaggy ball forms.
  2. Let the dough sit at room temperature with a loose cover (I use the lid to the pot, slightly cocked so gasses can escape) for two hours. After two hours turn the dough out onto a floured surface and give it 3 or four turns (or kneads) just to make a coherent, smooth ball. Cut into two or leave as one large piece of dough. Shape into a round ball.
  3. Place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise for at least one hour or until double in size. At the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Using a sharp knife or a serrated bread knife, gently make a few slits across the top of the dough. Brush or spritz the dough with water and bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


cranberry walnut bread

Step By Step Photos

dry ingredientsCombine the flours, salt, yeast, walnuts and cranberries in a large bowl or pot. Stir until evenly combined.

shaggy dough ballAdd the water and stir until a shaggy dough ball forms. If it is too dry to form a sticky ball, add a water a couple Tbsp at a time until it comes together. It is better to have the dough a little too wet than too dry at this point because you can always add a little flour back when you are shaping the loaves.

fluffy doughAfter two hours of sitting at room temperature with a loose lid, the dough will have expanded into this big, fluffy mass. Flour your hands and turn the dough out onto a floured countertop. Give the dough a couple folds/kneads (really, just 2-4 turns, no real kneading!) until it is smooth and non-sticky.

shaped boulesShape the dough into one large or two small boules. Place the loaves on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise for another hour or until doubled.

risen loavesThe loaves are now risen so it’s time to preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

slashed loavesJust before they go in the oven, make a few slashes across the top to allow them to expand and brush the outside with water. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is a deep brown color.

baked cranberry walnut breadopen cranberry walnut bread

Using 1/4 cup each of walnuts and cranberries filled the bread enough to have one of each in every bite. If you want the bread jam-packed full of goodies, try 1/3 cup of each. I know it’s hard to see it in the picture, but there’s a lot in there!


  1. We love the bread for toast every AM. Having a problem with the final rising on the baking sheet: The
    ball shape flattens out to a pancake and the 2 loaves join together. Please tell me what is my problem?

    • Hmm, normally that’s a problem with underdeveloped gluten that isn’t strong enough to hold the shape. You can try a couple of things. Let it ferment for an extra hour or maybe try adjusting the moisture content of the dough. If it’s super soft and sticky, maybe try kneading just a bit more flour into the dough to help stiffen it up.

  2. Jodi says:

    I made this last night. I thought it was wonderful, as did my guests. I made some changes that I thought I’d share. First, I didn’t have Craisins so I used fresh cranberries (cut in half) – just under 1 C. But I knew they’d be tart, so I added 1/2 C sugar to the recipe. This meant I had to add a bit more water, so I added 1/16 C water additional.
    The bread is lovely and the tart cranberries are nice. 1/2 C sugar isn’t quite enough, IMHO (though I tend to like my stuff sweet, so it may be plenty for most people) – I’d probably go with 3/4 C next time.
    Thanks for another GREAT recipe!!!!!

  3. Oma T says:

    I tried this according to the directions and it barely rose….even left it an extra 3 hours on the first rise…..also think it was a little dry when first mixing. Wanted to go according to the instructions on the first go round. Next time I’ll add 1/4 more of water and see if that helps with the rising etc. We’ll see how it tastes when it comes out of the oven.

  4. Terri says:

    A couple of questions: how does one measure 3/4 Tablespoon of yeast (1 Tbsp = 3 tsps)? And, I noticed you did not proof the yeast with water before mixing. Is that correct?

    • I have a 1/2 Tbsp measuring spoon, so I use that 1.5 times to approximate 3/4 Tbsp. But actually, yeast is pretty flexible, so if you want to do 2 tsp, I’m sure that would work just as well. This is one of those “no knead” bread recipes where no proofing is required, BUT you have to make sure to use instant yeast and not active dry. Instant yeast doesn’t need proofing and can be mixed into dry ingredients, whereas active dry yeast can not. :)

      • Terri says:

        OMG! I made it and it is wonderful. I proofed the yeast (because I was out of instant), and substituted 1/4 cup of water for orange juice (which takes some of the yeasty taste out, I think). Also, instead of baking on a parchment lined sheet, I let the last rise take place on a wheat germ lined towel, and flipped the loaf into a hot, cast iron casserole, baked covered for 30 minutes and 10 minutes uncovered (times vary per oven, of course). It was beautiful and tastes fantastic with orange marmalade and almond butter.

  5. Sheri says:

    Can it take longer than the 2 hours to rise?

    • Yes, it can probably go a little longer, but I haven’t experimented with maximum times. If it goes too long it can over proof and the yeast can begin to die off.

      • Sheri says:

        Thank you, I figured out it was too cold in my house. I actually turned on my oven warmed it up and covered with a damp cloth and that helped. I’m waiting for the final rise so I can bake them.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Made this for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful. But then I was inspired by the English muffins (they use their Master recipe, I used your proportions of whole wheat flour and bread flour from this recipe, without the cranberries and walnuts). And I’ve made both your English muffins and your Crumpets before, and they were good, but these were the perfect English muffins! I tried with and without English muffin rings and cooked some in a cast iron pan on the stove, and some in the oven, and rings+stovetop are the way to go.

  7. Nathaly says:

    I have a question. Is this bread slightly sweet from the cranberries? I want to make sure its the recipe I am looking for. Thanks.

  8. Rosie says:

    This bread was amazing!!

  9. Michele – Hmmm, slicing without deflating is a bit tricky, I admit. I try to pull the knife horizontally with pretty much NO downward pressure. The knife makes a difference too. It needs to be very sharp. That being said, I think you should try baking it without slicing the tops. I think it will work just as well (or better in your case with the discs :P) without slicing.

  10. I have tried this twice now, and I am doing something wrong – when I slash the tops, the bread deflates and I end up disks, more than round ball shapes. Any advice?

  11. I bought the healthy artisan bread in 5 minutes a day cookbook a few weeks ago, I’m assuming that this is where the base recipe came from? anyways, I LOVE all the recipes so far, it has made me a bread baker!! IF you don’t like the yeasty flavor(we love yeasty flavor) you can decrease the yeast to whatever you like just give your counter raise a lot longer…

  12. Susan says:

    I made this today….followed the recipe….added extra cranberries & walnuts…gorgeous, delicious bread! Made chicken/brie sandwiches….will make again! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This bread is wonderful! I have shared this recipe with my family. The second time I made it, I made the dough in the bread maker and then baked it in the oven and it was perfect!

  14. Anonymous says:

    My only concern is that it may have too much of a yeasty flavor if rising for only 2 hours. I love making bread with the 18 hour method, and I have noticed it has a much closer-to-authentic French baguette flavor than only letting it rise for 2 or 3 hours. I will try it again, though! =]

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yikes-this was a disaster-it hardly rose and I know I followed the recipe. Oh well, it was good for the bird feeder.

    • Corianne says:

      mine had super trouble rising too. Wonder if I need to add way more water next time. Did anyone else think it needed a bit more salt? I actually thought it was a bit bland…

  16. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering if you could use pretty much any nuts in here? cause I have a stockpile of almonds…

  17. Zac – Yep, you can sub AP flour for the WW with no problem. You usually only run into a problem when you try to go the other way (all whole wheat flour).

  18. I usually do olive and sun-dried tomato bread. Cranberry and walnuts are great, I should try it out next time I make a bread! Great job!

  19. Thanks for the bread feedback! I ended up making a roasted garlic and herb loaf that was so good.

    I was wondering does whole wheat flower not rise as much or just takes longer if because i wanted to try and substitute the AP flower for wheat?

  20. Wow…It looks great! I think I should try making one too.


  21. That sounds absolutely divine!! Bookmarking this one!

  22. Oops, I should have specified, Zac! I used the first no-knead recipe that I used for the blog:

    The no-knead ciabatta needs 18 hours but the other one only needs 2 but you can leave it in your fridge for up to 2 weeks :)

    Redforever: Thanks!! I can almost do it with my eyes shut now ;)

  23. let it rise for 2 hours? i thought the no-knead called for 18?! was 2 sufficient? but anyways those look great! I made a loaf using the no-knead recipe and it came out great too.

  24. Hey, you’re getting good at this bread making now, nice deep slashes and no blown out sides!!!


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