I knew these rolls were going to be a hit, but I didn’t anticipate the mania that ensued as I took them from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, pulled them apart, and piled them on a platter to serve.
Based loosely on my Grandmother Mary’s much loved dinner rolls, this variation features fresh pumpkin and wildflower honey. I wanted to throw in pumpkin pie spices– cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves–but MauiJim got wind of the idea and hid all the spices.
However, after I found his hiding spot (under the towels in a kitchen drawer), I compensated by creating a wonderful Maple Pumpkin Spice Butter to accompany the rolls. And guess who ate more than his fair share of that?
1 packet (2½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
1 cup baked, peeled, mashed pumpkin or sweetpotato (or canned 100% pure pumpkin puree)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup wildflower honey
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3-4 cups bread flour
olive oil, for greasing bowl
2 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup lightly toasted, chopped pumpkin seeds
Maple Pumpkin Spice Butter (recipe below)
- Lightly oil a 10- by 10-inch metal baking pan. Reserve.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast, water, and sugar. Proof for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.
- Add the eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, butter, honey, and salt together in a bowl.
- Add just enough flour to form a very soft dough; keep the dough on the wet side for now.
- Dust a countertop with flour and turn the wet dough out on top. Continue adding flour as needed and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. The dough should still be on the wet side. You will have to handle it gingerly to keep it from sticking to your hands.
- Oil a large, clean mixing bowl, put the dough inside, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Weigh the dough and then divide into 25 equal weight pieces. With your hands, form each piece into a ball, stretching the top of the dough ball while simultaneously pinching the bottom closed. This shaping method helps the dough to retain its round shape.
- Arrange rolls in five rows of five in the baking pan. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size.
- Brush the top of the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with chopped pumpkin seeds.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through and nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve at room temperature or warmed, accompanied with Maple Pumpkin Spice Butter.
Makes 25 pull-apart rolls.
I threw this butter together as an afterthought, but it was such a hit that I make it regularly now. So simple and so good.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a processor fitted with the steel blade, process the butter until light and smooth.
- Add the maple syrup, spices, and salt, and pulse to incorporate.
- Scoop into a serving bowl and keep at cool room temperature until ready to serve.
- Cover and refrigerate any leftovers and bring to cool temperature before serving.
Makes 1 cup.
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- foodess: Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- Kirbie’s Craving: Soft Pumpkin Rolls
- No Empty Chairs: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- The Feast Within: Pumpkin Crescent Dinner Rolls
- The Los Angeles Times: Slow Rising Pumpkin-Thyme Dinner Rolls
- What’s Cooking America: Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Copyright 2011 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.