No-Knead Chocolate-Cherry Pecan Bread

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Recipe photo

No-Knead Chocolate-Cherry Pecan Bread

star rating (28) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This easy, no-knead loaf features the best crust we've ever obtained using our home ovens. Based on the method outlined in The New York Times last November, this bread requires very little effort. But you do have to plan ahead—start it the night before, then bake the next day, or start early in the morning for bread in the evening. This recipe was developed using a bread crock, but any appropriately sized heavy, oven-safe, covered pot should work.

Follow our step-by-step photos for making this bread at our blog.

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) rye flour, any type
1/2 cup (2 ounces) King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) cool water
3/4 cup (3 1/4 ounces) chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) diced pecans, toasted

Mix flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Add cherries, chocolate chips, and pecans. Stir well to make a very soft dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 12 hours; the dough will be bubbly and puffy.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and fold it onto itself a few times. Let it rest 15 minutes, then form it into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, smooth side down. Cover and let rise at room temperature about 2 hours, until a slight indentation remains when poked with a finger.

During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 450°F and place a bread crock (or a heavy, 4- to 4 1/2-quart oven-safe pot) in the oven while it heats. When the dough is risen, remove the crock from the oven, and turn the dough out of the bowl and into the crock; the smooth side will be facing up. Shake the crock gently to settle the dough, then cover with the lid and return to the oven.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the bread is deep brown in color and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F. Remove the crock from the oven, turn the bread onto a rack, and cool before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.


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  • star rating 04/23/2015
  • Rita from Princeton, NJ
  • I am an experienced baker and have been making no knead bread for some time in my cast iron Lodge dutch oven. I followed this recipe to the letter. I was so disappointed with how the exterior was so burned on bottom and top and how I had to pry it out of the pan. After removing all of the burnt exterior, I was able to salvage a tasty loaf suitable for slicing and freezing for breakfast.
    I am sorry the bread was too dark. I have a similar experience with my cast iron dutch oven but with another no-knead recipe so I know how disappointing this can be. I had the another dough (same recipe) baking in another covered baker and that one did not burn. My suggestion is to bake at a lower temperature should you try this recipe again. Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 01/07/2013
  • Azdesertpro from KAF Community
  • This one made up beautifully for me. However, removing from the pan was quite a challenge. Next time I will work up like a jelly roll or cinnamon roll with cherries, toasted pecans and chocolot chips, etc rolled in and therefore not having exposed fruits, chocolots exposed to burn.
  • star rating 12/29/2012
  • Brenda L. from Sarasota, FL
  • The no knead bread recipes have been hit or miss for me so I was reluctant to try this recipe but the picture made it look so delicious, I couldn't resist! I let it proof 12 hours and my dough was really wet and slack. This worried me a bit as in the past when my dough was really slack, the bread spread sideways, did not rise and stuck to the pot! I took the advice of the other reviewers and after the 12 hour initial rise, I patted it into a rectangle and then sprinkled on the chocolate chips and cherries. I let this rest for 15 minutes and then shaped it into a ball. I placed the dough on a large piece of parchment paper and let it rise for about an hour. After the hour, the dough did not rise but rather spread sideways. Now I was really worried but went ahead and placed the dough along with the parchment paper into the preheated pot and baked at 450 degrees for 30 minutes covered and then another 25 minutes uncovered. The bread rose beautifully and there was only a few burnt cherries! Thanks to the parchment paper, I was able to remove the bread from the pot effortlessly! This is one of the most beautiful and tastiest breads I have baked. Thank you KAF for such an AWESOME foolproof recipe even for a novice bread baker like me!
  • star rating 12/21/2012
  • wendyb964 from KAF Community
  • NOTE: This is based on the revised directions in the blog by PJH 12/12. After the overnight (15 hr) rise he adds another 1/2 tsp instant yeast. After the next 5 hr rise (cold house) I tucked the pan in the refrig rather than baking late at night. If using a darker or heat-holding pan such as MagnaLite or enamel cast iron, check covered pot after 20 min. Mine was light brown, so removed lid and baked only 5 min uncovered. Temp was 204, removed and immediately turned upside down. It looks heavenly though the only additive was crushed rosemary.
  • star rating 12/14/2012
  • Brenda from Williamsburg, VA
  • This is a wonderful holiday bread and I always get rave reviews. I also do as another reviewer suggested and add the cherries, chocolate chips and pecans after the first rise which eliminates any burnt bits on the outside. I bake this in a cast iron combo cooker and it comes out wonderful. Thanks KA for another winner!
  • star rating 03/10/2012
  • denlovert from Montreal. from KAF Community
  • An other delicious recipe to enjoy. I was not relay certain I wanted to try to bake this recipe, but now I'm hooked. I baked it in my crokpot, but after the pot was hot from the oven, I put some parchemin paper inthe bottom and on the side ot the pot, and I babed it 30 minutes with the lid, plus ten without it. It turned to be a nice golden brown tasty swetty delicious breakfeast boule. I will bake it again and again. I'm so proud to belong to KAF community.
  • star rating 02/10/2012
  • wannoo from KAF Community
  • Fantastic, even *better* than an absurdly priced $17 loaf we received for Christmas from a famous mail order company! I have made the recipe several times with wonderful results but use this method in order to keep all the goodies contained inside the dough, thus eliminating any burnt chocolate/cherries/nuts or subsequent sticking to the pot (the bread will come out effortlessly and beautifully): After initial rise turn dough onto floured surface and gently pat into a rectangle. Sprinkle cherries, nuts and chocolate over top and roll like a jelly roll from the short end. Let rest 15 minutes, then gently form into a smooth ball, with no add-ins poking out of the dough. Place in a greased bowl, smooth side down. Cover and let rise at room temp for about 2 hours, until a slight indentation remains when poked with a finger. Continue with recipe as directed, except I bake covered for 30 minutes, then 20-30 minutes uncovered. Thank you, KAF! I can't believe bread this amazing is coming out of my kitchen!
  • 02/06/2012
  • W VEUIOE from KAF Community
  • Elizabeth David has instructions for baking bread this way in her "English Bread and Yeast Cookery." She explains how to adapt different recipes to work with it. (For those who are trying to figure out how to make a different kind of bread from this recipe.)
  • star rating 10/21/2011
  • Clara from San Jose, CA
  • I replaced the rye flour with wheat. We didn't have anything else on hand except a 70% chocolate bar, in hindsight, a less strong bar would have been preferable but it didn't affect taste too much. The basic dough recipe listed here is quite good as a template.
  • star rating 05/27/2011
  • Jan w from Wilmington, De
  • This recipe is great. We left out chocolate and left the dried cherries and pecans whole, so it works great for sandwiches too. We didn't have a crock or oven safe cast iron casserole, so we heated up our pizza stone and slid the bread in on parchment and covered it with a large metal bowl. This seemed to work well. We've made this twice this week on vacation already using a cookie sheet instead of the pizza stone (what kind of vacation rental doesn't have a pizza stone!) I love the idea of figs and walnuts, and will try that next time.
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