Pumpkin (Dinner) Rolls

10:48 AM

Have you planned your Thanksgiving menu yet?  You definitely need to add these rolls to the list!  I've been meaning to make these adorable rolls, and finally found my opportunity yesterday.  I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly and easily they came together.  And they are absolutely delicious!

Seriously, I can't get over how cute these things are!  Liam thought they were pretty great as well, and kept toddling back into the kitchen asking for more.  I had some leftover pumpkin puree (yes, they have actual pumpkin in them too!) and almost started making another batch as soon as I sneaked a taste of one fresh out of the oven.  Instead, I've got another great pumpkin recipe coming for you that also uses any leftover bits of pecans from this recipe, as well as the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
slightly adapted from Beyond Kimchee

  • 3/4 c whole milk
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 pkgs active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 5 c all-purpose flour
  • 15-20 pecan halves

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk or water

In a small sauce pan, scald the milk (heat it to just under a boil).  When the milk starts to get all bubbly and frothy, remove it from the heat and add the butter.  Stir until it's completely melted.

Pour into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) and add the pumpkin puree, sugars, and salt.  Use a large spoon and mix until well combined.

In a small, separate bowl, proof the yeast in the warm water with the teaspoon of sugar.  When it becomes foamy, stir it into the pumpkin mixture.  Add the egg and mix well.

Add the flour and mix (with a spoon still) until well combined.

If using an electric mixer, attach the dough hook and beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 5-7 minutes.  Then turn out onto your work surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.

If the electric mixer isn't your thing (kneading by hand), ignore the previous instructions and turn out onto your work surface once the flour is incorporated.  Knead for about 7-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth.  Let it rise until doubled in size.  This could take anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on the room temperature.  I found mine went a lot faster once I placed in in a barely warm oven.

Punch it down and knead if for a few seconds to get all the big bubbles out.  Cut the dough in half, and then each half into 15 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and flatten, gently, into a disk.

Make a cut 1/3 of the way into the disk, then repeat on the opposite side.  Make a quarter turn and repeat, leaving 4 equal segments that are left connected by the center.  Divide each of these in half.  Your disk should resemble a flower with 8 petals.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  This went really quickly when I picked it up and used my kitchen shears instead of trying to cut it with a knife.

Repeat this procedure with all the rolls, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Let them rise, about 45 minutes, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Meanwhile, brush the rolls with a quick egg wash.  (Whisk the remaining egg with 1-2 Tbsp milk or water; brush over the rolls.)  Bake 20 minutes, until the top begins to brown.  Let cool on a wire rack.

While the rolls are baking, prepare the pecans.  Looking at the top of a pecan half, there are two sides and a center ridge.  Carefully slice off either side and reserve.  Go slowly because the nuts tend to break.  Don't discard the left over centers!  (If you don't eat them) I have another recipe for you that will use them up.  Insert pecan slices into tops of the rolls as stems.

Makes 30 rolls.

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