I love homemade bread and the first loaf I ever made was during the summer after 7th grade at my Aunt’s house in Northern California. I was so impressed with the entire process of bread making – bringing simple ingredients together that bake into one wonderful loaf. I am one of those people that got into sourdough bread making many years ago, way before Covid happened. It’s a scientific process that begins with a good starter, but if that’s never going to happen for you — this No-Knead Dried Cranberry Loaf has your name on it.
Bread flour, instant yeast or rapid yeast, salt and water make up the bulk of the recipe. Dried cranberries are folded in by hand, just before you place the bowl aside to rest overnight or at least 12 hours. This shaggy preparation doesn’t need to look like a loaf of bread at this point, you’re simply mixing the ingredients together with your fingers until combined. During the evening the bread begins to come together into a moist soft dough that’s sticky to the touch. A quick fold on a flour-dusted board or countertop, and a simple shaping into a ball. Then, you place it in a Dutch oven or large oven-proof pot to bake. Out comes the creamiest crumb cranberry-flecked loaf on the planet that slices so nicely. A smear of good butter and you have yourself breakfast, brunch or just a divine snack any time of day. You can also make a sandwich, open-faced or double stacked – it really doesn’t matter — you have good bread.
3 1/2 cups bread flour + more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons room temperature water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Makes 1 Loaf)
- In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast and salt and mix with fingertips. Add 1 cup of water, and stir with fingers until dough looks shaggy. Add remaining 1/2 plus 2 tablespoons water. Continue to mix until dough comes together — it should be slightly sticky. *Add more water if necessary. Sprinkle in cranberries and fold into dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and then with a kitchen towel and place in a warm dry area. I used my microwave overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and place dough on a floured dusted surface.
- Flattened dough with fingers into a 9 x9 inch rectangle and fold edges up on all sides until they come together and pinch in center. Flip dough over and using both hands, rotate dough until it forms a taut ball.
- Cover ball of dough with kitchen towel to rest for 15 minutes. Place Dutch oven in oven to heat while dough rests.
- Place ball of dough onto parchment paper and remove Dutch oven from oven, and place inside. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 400 degrees and continue to bake for 25 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and place bread on rack to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!