Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Crusty No-Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread

I think about my late husband every day, but never so much as in January, which would have been his birthday month, and today his birthday. He loved a good loaf of bread, and not a week would go by where I wouldn't find him buying a loaf or two from one of the local bakeries. He liked it with a crispy exterior and a dense and chewy interior. I don't know if it was because I was thinking about him that caused me to make this bread, or because I was just in the mood for dense and chewy home-baked goodness. Either way, when I spotted this recipe I knew I had to give it a try.
The recipe may seem long, but it is very simple to put together. It also yields spectacular results! Honestly, I could not believe it. I had a slice this morning, spread with softened cream cheese, and it was as good, if not better, than any bread I've had from one of the top local bakeries. The fact that I made it at home astounds me. I can tell you that this is going to be the starting point for other fruit/nut/seed varieties that I plan to make. If the thought of making bread seems daunting to you, you need to try this one. The fact that it requires no kneading and precious little work will have you making it again and again.

Happy Birthday, Jim! I miss you, sweetie.
 Crusty No Knead Cranberry Walnut Bread
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

3 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for hands
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated yeast
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups warm water (about 95°F)

Stir the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water. The dough will be pretty sticky. Don't be tempted to add more flour, sticky is what you're going for. Gently shape into a ball as well as you can. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set on the counter at room temperature and allow to rise for 12-18 hours. I tend to keep my house on the cool side (62° during the day and 55° at night) so mine took the entire 18 hours. You'll know the dough is ready when it doubles in size and sticks to the side of the bowl. The top should be covered with air bubbles.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape into a ball. Transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper.

Using a very sharp knife, gently score an “X” into the top. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap and set aside while you preheat your oven.

Place your covered Dutch oven into your oven and preheat it to 475° F. When your oven comes up to temperature, set a timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the Dutch oven from the oven, remove the plastic from the top of your bread dough, and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and sticking it all-- the parchment paper included-- inside the pot. Cover with the lid.

Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes before serving.

Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 week.

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Gone-ta-pott said...

Hi there Pattie! I haven't talked with you in a long time but I'm back trying to blog again. Perfect timing on your post too. I was surfing the web looking for a cranberry walnut recipe and I found you. yip eeee! Love the post and the wonderful bread photos.

bensonb said...

This bread looks amazing. Cannot wait to try it. Enjoy all your great memories of Jimmy today. I know where you are coming from.

Linda said...

Oh my goodness! This is going to be a must-try recipe. I could live on this bread - it looks outstanding.

sandy said...

happy birthday to Jim in spirit - i'm catching up on your blog today - yummy recipes abound.

Sandra Lee said...

I've been avoiding making yeast breads for the longest but I really want to try this one. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

Miz Helen said...

This is a great bread and sure would enjoy a slice right now! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us real soon!
Miz Helen

Richella Parham said...

Pattie, I know you miss your husband very much. Isn't it amazing how special days such as their birthdays make us long even more than usual to be with our loved ones?

This bread looks absolutely delicious. This is one of my favorite breads to buy, so I'm definitely going to try making this. Thank you for sharing the recipe! And thank you for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I am sure that you miss Jim but how wonderful to have these wonderful memories of him. I would imagine that he would love this bread because it was made by you and it looks delicious.