These pumpkin dinner rolls are incredible – so soft, fluffy, slightly sweet, easy to make. They are perfect rolls for Thanksgiving since lots of cans of pumpkins are being opened and need to be used up.
This past week was a hard one at work. By Friday afternoon (morning really, because I had to work through Thursday night) I was ready to collapse into a heap, with a book and a glass of wine. When I feel like that – entirely overwhelmed and exhausted, I bake.
I started with orange – cranberry muffins, followed up by these amazing pumpkin dinner rolls, then pecan squares (also a wonderful recipe):
I’ve made these pumpkin rolls using my bread machine in the past. It works perfectly well for mixing and proofing the dough. Ever since the bread machine died, I have been using a stand mixer. If you don’t have either, mixing and kneading by hand will work as well. Growing up we didn’t own the fancy appliances and all bread making was done by hand with excellent results.
Here is how to make the rolls (original recipe that I modified):
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ⅔ cup heavy cream* (at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup milk (at room temperature)
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add ingredients in the following order: pumpkin puree, heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, flour, yeast, and salt.
- Mix on a low setting for 15 minutes, stopping occasionally to push the dough down off the hook. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough can be kneaded by hand for about 20 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, and place in a warm spot for 1 hour. The dough will grow to 1.5x its original size.
- In the meantime, grease a square 11×11” pan or 9×13” pan on all sides with a stick of cold butter or oil spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Divide the dough into 12 – 16 equal pieces (depending on how big you want them to be. I usually make 12) on a lightly floured surface. Shape each piece of dough into a smooth ball and arrange them on the pan with about half an inch of space between them on all sides. Once shaped, cover and proof for another hour until the buns grow to 1.5X their original size.
- Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Out of the oven, brush with melted butter.
1 cup of Half & Half can be used to substitute for the cream and milk. I microwave the cream and milk for 30 seconds to bring them to room temperature.
The rolls freeze fine. To defrost, just let them sit on a counter, covered by a kitchen towel, for 15-20 minutes.
I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving with your family, friends, or by yourself. We made it this far – and there is a lot to be thankful for, even when it may not always feel that way.