Cranberry Walnut Yeast Bread

A savory yeast bread studded with walnuts, fresh cranberries and black pepper – delicious for toasting, for sandwiches and for holiday gift giving. 

Homemade bread studded with cranberries and walnuts - perfect for the holidays.

Making homemade bread doesn’t have to be complicated – it just takes some time and elbow grease.

I’ve always liked to make bread – meaning the kind that requires yeast that you have to knead and let rise and rise again.

I never found it difficult, it’s more of a process – you basically need a day to see the whole thing through but there’s a lot of idle time involved. And once I got my KitchenAid Stand mixer for my wedding over 10 years ago, I kissed kneading dough good-bye as the trusty dough hook attachment takes care of that laborious process.

(Or you could also go the no-knead, bake in a Dutch oven bread way made famous by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery. It really works!)

A special holiday yeast bread featuring cranberries, walnuts and black pepper.

So, this cranberry walnut bread is loose riff off of Saints’ Bread – an Italian slightly sweet and peppery bread that’s made on All Saints’ Day (November 1st) in Italy.

(Funny aside, when I first googled Saints’ Bread, it lead me to this.)

Hopefully, New Orleans fans will approve of this recipe, too.


Cranberry Walnut Yeast Bread

A savory yeast bread studded with walnuts, fresh cranberries and black pepper – delicious for toasting, for sandwiches and for holiday gift giving.

  • Author: by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
  • Yield: one 9-inch rectangle loaf or two 6-inch round loaves. 1x


  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a stand mixer bowl (or large bowl), add yeast, water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for about 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy.
  2. While yeast is proofing, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and toast for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar.
  4. In bowl with yeast, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, walnuts, cranberries, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 cups all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, black pepper and salt. Mix with a dough hook and slowly add remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (1 tablespoon at a time) as the dough starts to take shape. Knead for about 5 – 7 minutes (using the heels of your hands if you don’t have a stand mixer) until dough smooth and elastic. Remove dough from bowl and form into a ball. Coat bowl with cooking spray and replace dough. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Punch down dough and turn out onto floured surface. Shape into either one 9-inch rectangle loaf or two 5 1/2 – 6-inch round loaves. Place on oiled tray, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise again for about 30 minutes or until double in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for about 25 minutes (for the 2 round loaves) or 30 minutes (for the 1 rectangle loaf.) Tap loaf and it will sound hollow when cooked through.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing.

Did you make this recipe?

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Make a few extra loaves of this cranberry walnut bread for holiday gifts and your freezer.

Cranberry Walnut Yeast Bread

Check out Cooking Light’s online tutorial on How to Make Yeast Breads <– includes a great tip on creating a foolproof “bread rising” environment.

Do you ever make homemade yeast bread? What kind? Any special breads (quick or yeast) that you make only during the holidays? Please share – we love to hear from you.


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

We’re so glad you’ve stopped by!

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