Fresh baked bread is a beautiful thing. But even better? Fresh, homemade bread with literally minimal effort and no kneading. If that sounds like your idea of a great loaf, then this No-Knead Walnut Raisin Bread is for you! It's a "set it and forget it" recipe that takes 10 minutes to pull together. You then let it rise overnight, pop it in the oven when you get around to it, and voilà, a gorgeous, fresh loaf!
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Ingredients you need
- Active dry yeast: Since this will sit overnight to rise, you can use active dry yeast here.
- Raisins: the star of the show! You'll want to make sure to separate the raisins so there are no clumps, and remove any remaining bits of stem. If you wanted to modify this recipe, you could use dried cranberries, or another dried berry here.
- Walnuts: you'll want to coarsely chop these, to a size you're happy with. You could also replace this with another nut, if you prefer, or omit completely.
- Unsalted butter: the butter helps the crust develop to be nice and crispy. If you are using salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Dark brown sugar: this helps to feed the yeast. You could substitute light brown sugar, but I prefer dark to get that deep flavor.
- Cinnamon and kosher salt
Equipment you need to get started
You need just a few kitchen staples to pull this together, but I would highly recommend the below:
- KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer from Amazon: to do your mixing; you could also hand-mix in a large bowl
- Staub 5.5-Quart Cocotte from Amazon: there is no reason it has to be this brand, this is just what I use. What you do absolutely need for this recipe is some kind of Dutch Oven. I also prefer a round Dutch Oven over an oval-shape (just to get a round loaf after baking!), but both will work!
- Nordic Ware Cooling Racks from Amazon
Shaping your loaf
This whole recipe is about doing as little as possible to get a delicious loaf, and shaping the loaf is no exception. Once your dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Use a bench scraper or your hands to gently shape it into a nice circle. The dough will be very soft and that's ok! You literally don't need to knead it at all. Once it's shaped, transfer to a piece of parchment paper to let it rest while your oven is heating.
When the oven is warm, you'll then move the dough on the parchment paper into the Dutch Oven. I like to use a wooden spoon to push the parchment paper away from the dough and towards the edges of the Dutch Oven to give the loaf a bit of room to expand in a nice round shape. It will expand either way, but if your parchment paper is close to the loaf, it may not end up being a perfectly round shape as the paper will push the dough.
Cooling your loaf
Once your loaf is baked, it's important to take it out of the pan and remove it from the parchment paper and let it cool completely on a wire rack. This air circulation helps the loaf cool while maintaining its crispy exterior.
If you let it cool in the pan, or on the parchment paper, the bread will not expel the seam in the same way, and it will cause your crust to lose its crisp. It will still taste good, but the entire loaf will be soft.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use different nuts or berries with this recipe?
Yes, you could! As long as they're dried berries (like dried cranberries), they will work well. The nuts can also be omitted if you'd prefer not to have any.
How should I store this bread?
It will of course be best fresh, but you can also store it at room temperature loosely wrapped in a paper bag. I also like to let bread rest on a cutting board, cut side down, which helps keep the loaf from drying out as quickly.
Does it matter how long I let the dough rise?
Yes. I recommend letting the dough rise 8-24 hours. I realize that's a huge time window, but it will be good if you bake it at any point after that. The longer you let the dough rise, the more airy your loaf will be. I like to make the dough in the evening, then bake it roughly midday the next day (or whenever I get around to it!).
Below is my recipe for No-Knead Walnut Raisin Bread. I hope you love it! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
No-Knead Walnut Raisin Bread
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons bread flour
- ¾ cup raisins seperated, stems removed
- ½ cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Flaky sea salt (optional) for topping
- Combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour the water and yeast mixture and the melted butter into the bowl and stir until just combined. The dough will be sticky and wet. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 8-24 hours. The dough will rise significantly and look puffy when it's ready to bake.
- To bake, place a Dutch oven (or other baking dish) with lid in the oven and preheat to 450°F. This allows your Dutch oven to preheat as well.
- While the oven heats, trasnfer the dough to a lightly floured surface; gently shape until a ball is formed, dusting with more flour if necessary. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper and let sit until the oven is heated.
- Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and transfer the dough (still on the parchment paper) into the dish (remember, your dish will be hot!). Cover with the lid and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Lightly tent with aluminum foil if you feel your loaf is browning too quickly. When done, the bread should be browned, crusty, and sound hollow when tapped. A thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf will read 190°F.
- Immediately remove the bread from the dish and the parchment paper to cool completely on a cooling rack.