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pumpkin dinner rolls
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Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

If you don’t want to fuss with the string to shape these soft and delicious pumpkin rolls, just make them as round rolls instead.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Proofing time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American, Western
Keyword: bread rolls, pumpkin, pumpkin bread
Servings: 16 rolls
Calories: 208kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 200g, warm but not hot; canned is ok but homemade is better
  • ¼ cup sugar 60g
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz butter softened
  • 2 eggs large
  • 2 tsp dry yeast instant or active dry; I use active dry, instant may rise a little faster
  • ¾ cup milk 185ml, lukewarm
  • cups white bread flour 600g; sub for part whole wheat flour if you prefer, you may need a little extra liquid

Instructions

Conventional Oven Method

  • Make the dough. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix by hand or with a mixer until a soft, smooth and elastic dough forms. If you’re mixing by hand this could take up to 10 minutes, in a mixer it takes around 4-5 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place (somewhere that’s around 27°C/80°F is ideal) until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently press it down to remove any large air pockets (no need to flatten it into submission here!). Divide the dough into 15 pieces and form each into a smooth roll.
  • Take your string and cut 15 long pieces – I found about 24”/60cm pieces was about right. Put a little vegetable or olive oil on your fingers and run each piece of string over them to lightly grease it. Place a piece of string over the middle of a formed roll then turn it over and cross the string over like you’re wrapping a gift, and turn it back over again. Repeat this so you have 8 sections, then tie the string in a loose knot at the top and trim any excess. You don’t want to pull the string too tight when you’re wrapping it around the dough, as the dough will expand and the shape will be formed during the second prove.
  • Place the rolls, spaced well apart, in a lightly greased or parchment-lined pan. Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and let the rolls rise until they’re puffed and the dough springs back into shape when a finger is gently pressed onto the surface, about 1-1½ hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn them onto a rack.
  • Serve rolls warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Combi Steam Oven Method

  • Make the dough. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix by hand or with a mixer until a soft, smooth and elastic dough forms. If you’re mixing by hand this could take up to 10 minutes, in a mixer it takes around 4-5 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a clean bowl and use the dough proving setting in your steam oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes. There’s no need to cover the bowl. If you don’t have a dough proving setting, steam setting at 35°C/95°F (100% humidity) will achieve similar results.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently press it down to remove any large air pockets (no need to flatten it into submission here!). Divide the dough into 16 pieces and form each into a smooth roll.
  • Take your string and cut 15 long pieces – I found about 24”/60cm pieces was about right. Put a little vegetable or olive oil on your fingers and run each piece of string over them to lightly grease it. Place a piece of string over the middle of a formed roll then turn it over and cross the string over like you’re wrapping a gift, and turn it back over again. Repeat this so you have 8 sections, then tie the string in a loose knot at the top and trim any excess. You don’t want to pull the string too tight when you’re wrapping it around the dough, as the dough will expand and the shape will be formed during the second prove. Repeat the string tying for each roll.
  • Place the rolls in a lightly greased or parchment-lined 22cm x 32cm (9in x 13in) pan. Place the pan in your steam oven on dough proving setting again and let the rolls rise until they’re puffed and the dough springs back into shape when a finger is gently pressed onto the surface, about 25-30 minutes.
  • With the pan still in the oven, change your oven temperature to 180°C/350°F, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable steam levels, select 30% humidity (if you don’t have variable steam settings, don’t worry! Just set the temperature and combination or convection steam, and the oven will work out the rest).
  • Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, about 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn them onto a rack. If you’d like to give them a gloss, brush each roll with the extra melted butter while hot.
  • Serve rolls warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for a couple of days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Notes

These rolls are based on my much-loved potato rolls, but the cute string shaping was inspired by this post over at Inside the Rustic Kitchen.
If you don’t want to fuss with the string to shape these rolls, just make them as round rolls instead. Or make one large loaf tied with string, which is a little easier to handle! For a larger loaf-sized bake, you’ll just need to bump up the cooking time.
You can use canned pumpkin puree here however you’ll get MUCH better flavor from roasting and pureeing your own pumpkin. About a pound (450g) of uncooked, skin-on pumpkin will give you roughly the quantity needed for the recipe. I roast with the skin on, then scrape the cooked pumpkin flesh off the skin after cooking. Much easier and less waste than cutting skin from raw pumpkin!
I divide my dough into 16 medium sized rolls, but if you want smaller rolls you could do 20 or even 24 portions.
You can use water or milk to make these rolls. Water is just fine and it’s what I use most often, but milk makes for a richer dough which bakes up a little more ‘cakey’ than the water version.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2609IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg