No Knead Walnut Raisin Bread

walnut raisin loaf

I made this recipe twice before I decided to share it with you. I thought my first attempt was a fluke because there is no way could I have made bread this good. Second time around, it was proved true. I did it!  I made another angelic loaf with a crispy crunchy crust jeweled with oooey gooey raisins and toasty chunks of walnuts to boot.  It’s so good that it makes me want to cry. It also makes me want to continue eating it and I might have to unbutton my jeans while I type this.  Yes there are crumbs on my keyboard. Shut up!

Ever heard of no knead bread?  I am pretty sure you have!  It’s been a sensation for the past few years on the internet and all across the country.  I made my first no-knead loaf before I started blogging and was kind of obsessed.  But then out of nowhere my fixation fizzled and I didn’t make a loaf for two years. I think it might have been that low-carb diet I was on. Ridiculous!  Recently I saw Jim Lahey (the master behind the No-Knead method) on the Martha Stewart Show demonstrating a carrot walnut loaf from his new cookbook and my love for no knead bread was rekindled.  The plain loaf is great but it always seemed like it needed something.  I loved topping the bread with salted butter & jam or using it for sandwiches, but I was never satisfied with eating it on its own. So when my brother bought me his new book, I was stoked to see a bunch of recipes that helped boost the flavor of the bread.

I started with one of my most favorite kind of bread-Walnut Raisin. Good idea, huh? The raisins get super plump and you can taste a subtle hint of cinnamon with each bite. The crust is glorious; something you’d get from a bakery and the crunch is insane. The dough on the inside is soft and moist; a perfect contrast with all the crunchies.  I was proud to present this loaf to my family who are serious carbophiles.  We crushed that bread and left a trail of crumbs on the cutting board. It’s so easy and that’s where my fear comes in. I might be making this on a weekly basis. I even have timers set on my cellphone for the rises. Dangerous!  Anyone have a good elastic pant source you wanna share?

Here’s the no knead bread time line that works best for me:

-6pm make dough, set aside

-10am next day first rise is done, start second rise

-11:30am heat the oven with the dutch oven inside

-12pm bake bread!

-1:00pm you have fresh hot bread!

Let’s get started!

You will need walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, bread flour, yeast, salt & pepper.

walnut raisin fun!

Throw it all in the bowl. Including the yeast!

yeast addition

Add water. Stir for about 30 seconds. If it’s too dry, add like 2 tablespoons more water.

in comes the water

Cover it up and set aside.

see you in 18 hours!

After 18 hours of rising, you get this!

risen overnight

Form dough into a ball.  Place it on a kitchen towel covered in wheat bran for the second rise.

after the first rise

After about 2 hours it looks like this. Now it’s ready to go into the dutch oven that’s been heating up.

about to go into the oven

Bake for 30 minutes with the cover on. Then 15 minutes with it off.

slicing

You get this glorious loaf!

topped with chevre & honey

I topped my first piece with crumbled chevre & honey.  YUM!  It’s killer toasted with butter for breakfast too!

Pan co’Santi – Walnut Bread

recipe- The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey

Yield: One 10-inch round loaf; 1 1/2 pounds
Equipment: A 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy pot

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
  • pinch fresh ground pepper
  • wheat bran, cornmeal or additional flour for dusting  (I used wheat bran)

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, raisins, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, yeast, and pepper, mixing thoroughly. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. If it’s not really sticky to the touch, mix in another tablespoon or two of water. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.

2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.

3. Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third, and place the covered 4 1/2 – to 5 1/2 -quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.

5. Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the lid and continue baking until bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more (It took me about 15). Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to gently lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.

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85 Comments

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  • March 26, 2010

    I seriously cannot wait to try this. Thanks for posting. You’ve been on a roll lately with great recipes!

  • March 26, 2010

    Oh. My. Gosh. Looks freaking amazing! Now I have to go get a Dutch oven.. :)

    • March 26, 2010

      Honey- I hear that a pyrex dishes work just as well too!

  • March 26, 2010

    This looks so great that I’ve actually started making it…except you forgot to include how much water or walnuts in the recipe ingredients!

    • March 26, 2010

      whoa! that’s kind of an oversight huh?! That’s what I get for copying the recipe from the web. It’s been updated. Thanks for letting me know!

  • March 26, 2010

    OK, it’s time. You have officially pushed me over the edge. Next week I’m taking the plunge and I might just make this one first. Great job!

    • March 26, 2010

      YES YES YES!!!!!! Please do it!

  • March 26, 2010

    Okay, i’m making this. I’m totally sold on this and I’ve got pecans (no walnuts sadly) at the ready.

    • March 26, 2010

      yes! let me know how it tastes cuz the second i’m out of walnuts, I have pecans as a back up here too!

      • September 23, 2012

        Hello,

        I made my first loaf of no-knead bread based on your recipe, but substituted the walnuts with pecans, and used a mix of raisins and currants. Taste-wise, I like it but I didn’t like the gummy, dense inside which may have resulted from my substituting the bread flour with whole wheat bread flour :(

        Here’s my take: http://www.yshue.com/?p=681

        • Tracy
          September 23, 2012

          oh no! If you try whole wheat flour, you should probably replace 1/3 the amount of bread flour with it. Too much can produce the gummy/dense experience!

  • March 26, 2010

    Thanks Tracy, I can’t wait to taste this when it’s done tomorrow! Your photos look awesome.

    • March 26, 2010

      omg Rebecca- look at you go! Please report back and lemme know how it goes!

  • Julia Harts the Man
    March 26, 2010

    Did you see that smittenkitchen linked to you today about your kale chips??? Cool!

    • March 26, 2010

      yes! that’s pretty awesome. Deb is the bee’s knees!

  • March 26, 2010

    that looks insanely yummy.

    • March 26, 2010

      I have to bring you a loaf sometime!

  • March 26, 2010

    I know, right? I tried this recipe a few month ago and LOVED it! I ate it with cara cara orange curd and just about died of deliciousness. You are so right about the crust. It’s super crunchy, just as walnut bread should be! I had forgotten all about it. I think it’s time to try making it again!

  • March 26, 2010

    good god almighty. as soon as my gums heal, i am making this. and i will eat the whole thing in one day, dammit!

    seriously. we have an amazing bakery here, and one of my favorite things to get on wednesdays is the walnut raisin baguette. YUM.

    • March 26, 2010

      i think i got 3/4 of the way through the loaf today- wishing someone would wire my mouth SHUT cuz i have to stop.

  • March 26, 2010

    just shared with the mister.
    his wheels are turning. i gave him The Bread Bible 2 years ago (first year was a lotta bread bakin’ – second year, notta loaf!) and i think he is inspired.

    WHOLE LOTTA BAKIN’ happening in our house this weekend, mama!!!!! owwwww!

    • March 26, 2010

      omg get matty to make you a loaf STAT! He is gonna loaf this technique! Omg i just typed loaf instead of love. I am seriously not going to delete that!

  • March 26, 2010

    i know you know how to use google, but in case you don’t have it, i’s savin’ ya’s a step:

    http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Bible-Rose-Levy-Beranbaum/dp/0393057941

    and I DO recommend it.

    • March 26, 2010

      ooh awesome! i will check it out lovey!

  • March 26, 2010

    I made the no knead bread before, (which was AMAZING) but not the walnut/raisin variety…looks DELICIOUS.
    I don’t love raisins, but I am rather obsessed with cranberries… if I substituted, then it would be exactly like the bread they serve turkey/brie sandwiches on at the local deli. Mmmmmmmmm.
    Can’t wait!

    • March 26, 2010

      holy cow! cranberries sound delish too! I am going to try that too!

  • March 27, 2010

    Hi Tracy,

    Just reporting back on the bread. It was a HUGE hit! I realised I had no walnuts, so chucked in some ground fennel seeds. Oh, and my dutch oven is only little too, so I made two half loaves. We loved it so much I have more on the side waiting for tomorrow, thanks so much, you’ve seriously rocked our bread world over in London!

    • March 27, 2010

      YAY!!!!! I am so proud of you for improvising and making two! That is fantastic!

  • March 30, 2010

    i love everything jim lahey. it looks beautiful!

  • April 7, 2010

    Loved this recipe! Made it twice. Here is my twist with cranberries and orange peel: http://cleverkaren.blogspot.com/2010/04/no-knead-orange-cranberry-bread.html

    • April 7, 2010

      you are so clever!! teehee! I am going to try this on the next batch!! thanks karen!

  • Ing
    April 9, 2010

    Tried this recipe a few days ago and it turned out fantastic — the best raisin bread I’ve eaten. Thank you so much for posting this.

    Ing

    • April 10, 2010

      so glad you enjoyed and tried it!! it’s pretty fantastic- thanks to jim lahey! i am totally hooked!

  • April 14, 2010

    making this tonight; for lunch tomorrow. naturally.
    seriously cannot wait.

    • April 16, 2010

      loved it. amazing!!

      • April 17, 2010

        awesome!!! thanks soo much for trying it Jen! It’s pretty addictive huh?

  • April 20, 2010

    I bet this makes AWESOME french toast! I <3 no-kneading! Lol

  • May 7, 2010

    This bread look delicious! honestly don’t care much for raisins, but cranberries would prob. work.

  • June 4, 2010

    This looks very yummy, but I know it would be even more amazing with Watkins famous Cinnamon!

  • Michelle
    August 14, 2010

    Would it not work if I don’t have neither a Dutch oven nor a Pyrex dish? I only have a tall metal pot :/ And also is the wheat bran essential to this recipe?

  • Junie
    October 20, 2010

    How should the recipe change if I wanted to make these into dinner sized rolls? I’m a fan of these at Lahey’s Sullivan St. Bakery. Should I just mold these into rolls and place them on a baking sheet uncovered? Thanks so much.

    • October 20, 2010

      Good question! The trick to getting the crust is the dutch oven technique! I am not sure how it would work if you had individual rolls!! If you figure it out, please let me know!

  • October 22, 2010

    Well, as someone who just made her first no-knead loaf of whole wheat bread last night (using a different book), I think I maaaaay be slightly obsessed with baking bread. And since I like raisins and nuts in bread, I maaaay be trying this pretty soon.

    • October 22, 2010

      It totally has that power!! You’ll LOVE this one then!!! :)

  • Olivia
    January 20, 2011

    I had a problem with the first rise and letting it sit over night.
    When I checked it in the morning the top of the dough was crusty and dried out!
    How did you get yours to stay moist?
    Should I cover it with a damp towel next time instead of a dry one?

    • January 20, 2011

      This happened on one of my batches. There was a slight crust on the edges. I just mixed it in with the rest of the dough and on the second rise, it rehydrated. Maybe next time put a dam towel on top and then wrap the top of that with plastic wrap. Let me know if that changes things!

  • Olivia
    January 20, 2011

    Thanks for the suggestion, I might try that next time even though I went ahead and mixed in the dried out part on the second rise and baked the bread and it turned out great!
    I took it out of the oven an hour ago and can’t keep myself from going back for more, it’ll be gone soon. :)

    • January 20, 2011

      oh fantastic!!! So glad it worked out for you! Thanks for trying…and boy do I know how addictive it is!!!

  • Lizzy
    February 6, 2011

    Came across your post and tried this as my first ever homemade bread. Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • LatinCook
    February 22, 2011

    I tried this recipe and my bread did not rise. I used 1/2 teaspoon of Saf-Instant Yeast. I am wondering what I did wrong?

    • February 22, 2011

      weird! did it expire? did you use too much salt? I’ve never used SAF before.

      • LatinCook
        February 22, 2011

        No, the yeast is not expired, I just checked. I also used the correct amount of salt. Could it be the stainless steel? I mixed and kept the dough in a stainless steel bowl.

  • Jessica
    December 17, 2011

    Hi Tracy

    I have been craving raisin walnut bread since my aunt brought some home from the bakery where she works. I have made no-knead several times and your blog came up when I did a google search for raisin walnut no-knead. I made this one with 2 c bread flour, 2/3 c rye flour and 1/3 c almond flour. I’m very into the crunchy, hearty breads. This did not disappoint. I think it would be better with a whole grain other than rye – that is a little bitter, but it is still delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I’m checking out the rest of your blog.

  • russ
    January 3, 2012

    I use stainless steel bowls all the time, that is not a problem.

    I ALWAYS cover the bowl with saran, so it never dries out, not a towel.

  • san
    April 20, 2012

    what do you mean by cook with the cover on? then dont?

  • October 21, 2012

    Made this with hazelnuts and cranberries. Used cornmeal on the outside. My flours were whole wheat, spelt and graham. Delish! Thx for the inspiration

  • November 19, 2012

    Hi there! Sub’ed the raisins for cranberries to make a TJ’s-inspired loaf! I managed to make it gluten-free after one failure using a tip from gluten-free girl (soda water instead of regular water – genius). Bonus – gluten-free means you don’t have to do the first 18 rise – you can have fresh bread in under 3 hours! Thanks for a great recipe, it kind of blew my mind how easy it is to make bread. The dutch oven is totally the secret to the amazing crust. (http://nourishandpreserve.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/falling-cranberry-walnut-bread-with-pumpkin-cream-cheese-gluten-free-vegan/)

  • February 14, 2013

    Hello, I just dropped by to learn about this blog. It looks really interesting and I
    enjoyed reading it, thank you for the good stuff!

  • John
    February 24, 2013

    I substituted the raisins with dried cranberries and ate it toasted with honey and goat cheese spread on top. It was pretty amazing. :)

  • Regina
    March 9, 2013

    OMG, it was super easy and the bread turned out so delicious and it looked just like your picture. I like my raisin bread slightly sweet, so I added 1/2 cup of sugar and doubled the amount of raisins and walnuts.
    I put some craisins as well. All the fruits and nuts were evenly distributed.

    • Tracy
      March 10, 2013

      AWESOME.

  • Jess
    March 17, 2013

    I make this all the time in the quicker, 4 hour version: use an entire packet of yeast and the first rise only takes 4 hours. For the second rise, it only requires 30 minutes (while your oven preheats). Makes a loaf identical to the overnight rise, in my opinion — just as delicious, just as perfect a crust, but in 1/4 of the time! You can throw together the dough before breakfast and have fresh-baked bread for lunch.

    I set my oven to 450, though, but perhaps that’s just because mine runs a bit hot!

  • Kylie
    August 27, 2013

    Oh my, I think I may have found my new favourite bread! I was a bit worried about the cinnamon in the actual dough as I’ve heard it kills yeast if left too long BUT my dough rose just fine. I used half whole wheat bread flour and half all purpose flour and it came out nice and fluffy. For my “dutch oven” I used my big stock/spaghetti noodle pot with the lid and it worked out brilliant. The crust is super crunchy, the interior is pillowy soft and loaded with texture from the gooey raisins and rich walnuts. I love this toasted with a thin layer of cream cheese and jam. I may add a touch more salt and a few tablespoons of honey to help it be a bit more flavourful by itself next time though. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  • Shilpa
    September 29, 2013

    Hi Tracy! Though I follow your blog, I only chanced upon this gem a few days ago. Just knew I had to give it a go immediately! I loved the taste, but I noticed after about 12-13 hours of rising, the dough sort of took on a pinkish purplish tinge. Any idea what that’s about? It looked very exotic, but would be nice to know what happened

    • Tracy
      September 29, 2013

      I think it’s the raisins!

      • Shilpa
        September 29, 2013

        Aaah! Ok! So maybe the color leached? Any tips to avoid it next time?coz there’s def a next time!

  • April 17, 2014

    Wow, Wow your bread looks Awesome!!!! Yummy Yummy in the Tummy

  • Meverly
    April 20, 2014

    Happy Easter! I just made this bread today. The only change I made was I used 2c bread flour and 1c whole wheat flour. It was a hit! The whole family loves it. Can’t wait to make it again.

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