Pour boiling water over the cranberries and allow to soak for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, yeast, walnuts, and drained cranberries. Stir to distribute the ingredients.
Combine the water and maple syrup. Then add to the dry ingredients.
Mix together with your hand. This isn't kneading, it's just mixing. You want all the ingredients to be incorporated, and to absorb all the flour. The mixing usually takes about 2-3 minutes. Mixing with your hand lets you feel for all the unmixed spots.Once fully mixed, cover tightly and let rise in a warm spot for about 4 hours, or until more than doubled in size.
Put a large cast iron Dutch oven into the oven and preheat to 450F.
Once the oven has fully heated, remove the Dutch oven and sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal.
Gently transfer the dough out onto a flour surface. Without pushing out too much air, shape the dough into a tight ball. Not so tight that it tears, but tight enough that the outer surface is springy.
Carefully place the dough ball into the Dutch oven, and slice the top of the dough with a sharp knife or bread lame. Place on the lid and return to the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on, and another 20 with the lid off. The bread will sound hollow when tapped on the underside, and will have a dark golden, crisp crust.
Allow to cool fully before slicing. Store in a seal bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.