No-knead dough makes this Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread so easy to make. The bread has a crisp, chewy exterior with the bright flavor of cranberries and orange zest and the crunch of pecans.
If you’re looking for a quick yet impressive last-minute gift from the kitchen, No-knead bread is definitely the answer. This cranberry orange pecan bread has my favorite flavors of Christmas…minus the dark chocolate…which would be an awesome addition! I have delivered this bread slightly warm wrapped in a cute dishcloth or even simple cellophane tied up with a bow.
Mixing No-Knead Dough
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, yeast and orange zest together.
- Stir in dried cranberries and pecans.
- Pour water directly over the flour mixture. The water should be cool – room temperature.
- Using a wooden spoon or hand kneader mix, stir the mixture together just until the water is absorbed into the flour. Remember this is “NO-knead”. Don’t mess with it any further. It’s as mixed as it needs to be. The dough will be very sticky.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the countertop for 12-18 hours. Do NOT refrigerate. There is no need to do that. Room temperature is perfect to get the yeast growing. Do not fret if you only let the dough rise for 11 hours. It’s ok if you get busy and realize the dough has been on the counter for 20 yours. It’s all good. It will work. Trust me.
- After 12 hours the dough will look bubbly and very wet.
Preheating the Oven and Pot
Right now start heating your oven to 450 degrees. Once the oven reaches that temperature, put the pot or whatever you are going to bake your bread in, into the 450℉ oven. NOW you need to heat that pot for 30 minutes. Just leave it in the oven for 30 minutes. Make sure the vessel in which you are baking your bread in can take the heat. If the manufacturer says not to heat the pan over 425 degrees then DON”T.
Shaping and Baking the Bread
- The dough is sticky. VERY sticky so prepare yourself. It will stick to your hands. Heavily flour whatever surface you are using. I use a dough scraper to scrape the dough out of the bowl and I use it for shaping the loaf. Once you remove the dough from the bowl you are going to be tempted to knead the dough…DON’T!! Remember this is “NO-knead” dough. If you start fussing with the dough too much, you will remove all the large air bubbles that have been forming for the past several hours. RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO KNEAD.
- With floured hands shape the dough into a round boule if using a round pot or an oval loaf if using an oval pot. Place the loaf on a sheet of silicone coated parchment paper. Cover and let rise while the oven is heating.
- Once the oven and pot is heated remove the hot pot from the oven and carefully lift the loaf and set inside the hot pan. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 min.
- After 30 min, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 min. or until golden brown. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temp. It should be 195-200℉. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the loaf out of the hot pot using the parchment paper. Set on a cooling rack to cool.
I think this bread would make a mean turkey sandwich.
No-Knead Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread
Simple no-knead bread with dried cranberries, orange zest, and pecans. Baked in a preheated pot for an artisan crisp crust.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp yeast instant or rapid-rise peferred
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp orange zest zest from one orange
- 1 1/2 cups water cool
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast and orange zest. Whisk together. Add dried cranberries and almonds, stir. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
- The dough is sticky. VERY sticky so prepare yourself. It will stick to your hands. Heavily flour whatever surface you are using. I use a dough scraper to scrape the dough out of the bowl and I use it for shaping the loaf.
- Once you remove the dough from the bowl you are going to be tempted to knead the dough…DON’T!! Remember this is “NO-knead” dough. If you start fussing with the dough too much, you will remove all the large air bubbles that have been forming for the past several hours. RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO KNEAD.
- Make sure the vessel in which you are baking your bread in can take the heat. If the manufacturer says not to heat the pan over 425 degrees then DON'T.
- I have received many questions asking if the pots need to be greased or oiled? The answer is an absolute NO! The pan is so hot that the grease or oil would smoke. If you really feel the need to do something you can sprinkle the bottom with a little cornmeal.
- I love the parchment option. However! Not all parchment is created equal. Look for parchment with a silicone coating. I have had parchment stick to the bread before. I had to cut off the bottom crust and toss it.
- YES, the parchment can bake right along with the bread. I haven’t started a fire yet…yet.
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