Dutch Oven Walnut Bread

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Looking for the perfect bread loaf to serve with your holiday meals? This Dutch Oven Walnut Bread pairs nutty, toasted walnuts with tart dried cranberries for an elegantly balanced whole. The bread dough receives a hearty boost from Arrowhead Mills Organic Spelt Flour, an ancient grain that has had a modern revival due to its mild, sweet flavor and nutritional benefits. Baked in a searing hot Dutch oven, this loaf has a divinely crisp crust encasing a chewy crumb. Sliced and partnered with a pat of butter, it’s the ideal accompaniment to any meal. 

Arrowhead Mills has been producing organic baking products for over fifty years. Many of their products, across flours, pancake & waffle mixes, cereals and more are certified organic and non-GMO project verified. Their Organic Spelt Flour has a robust nutty flavor and adds a boost of fiber to all of your baking.

To purchase Arrowhead Mills products, shop online or check your local grocery stores!

Dutch Oven Walnut Bread
Makes 1 loaf
  • 2⅔ cups (351 grams) Arrowhead Mills Organic All Purpose Flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1¾ cups (210 grams) Arrowhead Mills Organic Spelt Flour
  • 1 cup (160 grams) packed dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup (113 grams) chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3½ teaspoons (10.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons (2.5 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) active dry yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups (480 grams) lukewarm water (105°F/41°C)
  • 6 tablespoons (54 grams) plain yellow cornmeal, divided
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flours, cranberries, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, yeast, and cloves. Add 2 cups (480 grams) lukewarm water; using your hand, stir until a sticky dough forms, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. (This is a wet dough, but we don’t want it to take on too much additional flour.) Fold one outer edge into center, pressing lightly to hold it in place. Moving clockwise, tuck edges into center. Gently press in dough folds as you tuck, being careful not to overwork dough; lightly flour hands and work surface as needed. (See Notes.)
  3. Turn dough ball seam side down. Cup dough, and gently drag it toward you; rotate dough ball slightly clockwise. Repeat procedure several times to create a taut ball. (If your dough is simply sliding around, you have too much flour on work surface. Brush some flour off surface before continuing. You want to feel the ball sticking slightly, tugging sides and stretching dough into a taut ball.)
  4. Generously sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with 2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornmeal and all-purpose flour; place dough round, seam side up, on prepared parchment. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. (See Notes.)
  5. When dough has 30 minutes left to rise, place a 6- to 7-quart cast-iron Dutch oven in cold oven. (You may need to adjust your oven racks for Dutch oven to fit.) Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  6. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid.
  7. Uncover dough, and sprinkle seam side evenly with 2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornmeal. Sprinkle bottom of Dutch oven with remaining 2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornmeal. Using parchment to help hold and support, quickly turn dough into Dutch oven so seam side is now facing downward. Using a heatproof spatula, gently center dough in bottom of Dutch oven, if necessary. Discard parchment. Dust top of dough generously with all-purpose flour. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully score top of loaf, if desired. Cover with lid, and place in oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 450°F (230°C).
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned and crusty and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°F (93°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven; let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing or storing.
A plastic or metal bench scraper is a helpful tool when shaping and working with this wetter dough.

As an alternative method, replace the sheet of parchment paper in step 4 with a sheet of foil. Generously dust foil with 2 tablespoons (18 grams) cornmeal and all-purpose flour; place shaped dough round, seam side down, on top. After dough rests for 1 hour, flour and score dough as directed. Using excess foil as handles, lower dough into preheated Dutch oven; using a heatproof spatula, center dough and press foil against sides of Dutch oven. Trim foil flush with top edges of Dutch oven, if needed; cover and bake dough as directed. Carefully remove foil immediately after baking. Finished bread may have a slightly different shape, but dough will be much easier to move in and out of Dutch oven.


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