Walnut-Raisin No-Knead Bread

OTHER CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST IDEAS: Hot Raisin Bread; Yogurt Pancakes with Pomegranate; Oversized Chocolate Chip Muffins; “City” Oatmeal with Blueberries and Dried Cherries; Red Flannel Hash; Smoked Salmon Scramble

Christmas morning calls for a little something extra. At the same time, I think for most people, it’s also not officially a part of the day’s celebratory eating. It’s merely something to tide you over during present opening until the real deal: lunch or dinner. (Would love to hear more about your Christmas breakfast traditions in the comments if I’m wrong…)

This version of no-knead bread, which I made on a whim recently, is almost like a present itself–the crust hides a bundle of raisins and walnuts–and is just delicious toasted until golden and spread with salted butter. Its schedule fits with Christmas too: Start the first rising as you’re wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve, ask Santa to take care of the second rising, then bake as soon as you’re up in the morning.

From my kitchen, wishing you merry merry, to yours,



Walnut-Raisin No-Knead Bread
Makes 1 loaf

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Thompson raisins
1 2/3 cups water
Cornmeal or more flour as needed

Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add the walnuts and raisins and stir to distribute. Pour the water over the flour mixture, then use a rubber spatula to mix them together and form a soft, ugly dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 12 hours, until there are bubbles across the top.

Dump the dough out onto a floured, non-terrycloth dishtowel. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Then, using as little flour as possible, shape the dough into a ball by folding the ends in. Turn onto a cornmeal-dusted non-terrycloth dishtowel, seam side down. Dust with more cornmeal, then cover with another towel. Leave for two hours. (That’s Santa’s rise.)

When there’s a half hour left to go of this rise, preheat the oven to 450°F and put a covered, heavy pot in the oven.( I use my 5.5 quart LeCreuset to achieve a well-proportioned loaf.) When the dough is ready, carefully take the pot out of the oven. Dump the dough, seam side up, into the pot and shake it to spread evenly. Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until deeply brown and crusty. Let the bread rest as long as you can before slicing into it.

I store my bread in an airtight baggie, even though this makes the crust soft. To “re-crust” a whole loaf, you can dab it all over with water and bake for about 10 minutes in a 450°F oven. If you’re going slice by slice, just toast to rectify the crust.

Posted in: Baking For Others
  • http://www.theblogisthenewblack.wordpress.com Liz @ Blog is the New Black

    This looks, and sounds, great! :)

  • Molly

    My boyfriend and I do a solid, but not over the top meal for Christmas Eve, but Christmas Morning I go all out on a fancy breakfast. Last year we had Cinnamon and Pancetta Waffles (waffles are always reserved for Holidays), and we’re doing them again this year, with Beet-Carrot Latkes (our new favorite lazy weekend tradition). I can’t wait!

  • http://otm-inthegalley.blogspot.com/ SeattleDee

    My favorite NK Bread is walnut and fresh rosemary, but Christmas morning is all about sticky buns and almond-filled coffee cake while we’re waiting for the fritatta or strata to finish in the oven.

  • Caitlin

    my mom always makes french toast w/ red & green sprinkles. as I’ve gotten older, they’ve been updated to marscapone stuffed french toast… YUM. I still get upset if she forgets the red & green sprinkles though :)

  • Kemciver

    My family celebrates Christmas morning with a breakfast casserole ; put together the night before and baked Christmas morning, homemade holiday bread and fruit. We have been doing it for 30 years. My children, now grown with families of their own, still enjoy the tradition. May have to add the bread above to the menu. It sounds delicious!

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      That sounds wonderful–would love the casserole recipe!

      • Kemciver

        I will send it to you via e-mail. K

  • http://howtosexuallyarouseawomantoday.blogspot.com The Locksmith


  • Anonymous

    Oh yum.

    Growing up, we started the day with a champagne breakfast. Very casual actually, just a regular cooked breakfast but always with champers.

    And because I’m from Australia, after lunch we’d drink champagne in the pool. Am in the UK this year and that is soooooo not going to happen.

  • Rellie

    After presents my family makes a nice big breakfast, nothing to fancy just all the fixin’s. Homemade for the most part too!!

  • Shannon_77

    My husband always cooks Christmas breakfast. We never did growing up. He makes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and toast. Everyone loves it afterr opening presents.

  • Lizthechef

    No a skilled bread maker, even I can manage this one! Happy Holidays!

  • AW

    williams-sonoma large frozen croissants. set them out to defrost/rise on xmas eve and by the AM they’ve risen to ENORMOUS proportions. Only take 15 minutes to cook, so they’re ready by the time everyone is awake/coffee is made, and are perfect easy treat to eat on the couch while surrounded by wrapping paper!

  • Yijang Lin

    what’s the difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast? can one be substituted for the other?

  • JK

    ‘Once I was old enough to be trusted in the kitchen, we began a tradition of fresh scones. I whipped up the scones while the coffee is brewing and my sister was in charge of the whipped cream. They bake in no time flat. Then we eat while presents are being opened. Now we have families of our own and I still make the scones!

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  • scc

    Is it really 12 hours for the first raise?

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