These Spiced Pumpkin Rolls are a seasonal spin on the classic dinner roll. If you don’t normally make homemade rolls for special dinners, this recipe might just change your mind! I promise you the extra effort is totally worth it! Serve these at your Thanksgiving feast or holiday party and watch your guests ooh and aah.
Moist, full of fall spices and bursting with delicious pumpkin flavor. Canned pumpkin can be used to make these dinner rolls, but if you are feeling extra ambitious, go ahead and use homemade pumpkin puree. The recipe makes 2 braided loaves or 18 dinner rolls or even 1 braided loaf and 9 dinner rolls.
Just do what you feel, they’re great either way! If you decide to make only nine dinner rolls, just bake the rolls in an 8 inch square pan. If you plan on making these for a special dinner or even Thanksgiving dinner, you can prepare the rolls ahead of time and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Yield: 2 braided loaves or 18 dinner rolls
4 teaspoon active dry yeast, or 2 envelopes
1/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (15 oz can of pumpkin puree)
egg wash (1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tbsp of water)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut off.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the milk and yeast and let rest 10 minutes until foamy.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, brown sugar and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, melted butter and pumpkin puree. After the yeast and milk have rested for 10 minutes, add the pumpkin puree mixture and mix with the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the paddle attachment and fit the stand mixer with the dough hook. Mix with the dough hook on medium-low until smooth and somewhat sticky, about 3-5 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Then shape into rolls or a braided loaf.
To make a braided loaf, Lightly grease large baking sheet and set aside. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 2 pieces, one roughly half size of other. (Small piece will weigh about 9 ounces, larger piece about 18 ounces.) Divide the large piece into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 16-inch-long rope, about 1 inch in diameter. Line up ropes of dough side by side and pinch ends together. Braid the free ends together, pinching the braid closed at the end and tuck both ends under braid. Place braid on baking sheet. Divide smaller piece of dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 16-inch-long rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Braid together, pinching ends to seal. Brush some of egg wash on top of large loaf and place small braid on larger braid.
To make dinner rolls, lightly grease a 9x13 inch square baking pan. Divide into 18 balls (about 3 ounces each). To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand and place in prepared baking pan.
After your dough is shaped, cover it loosely, and let it rise for another 1 ½ hours. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the top of the bread lightly with the egg wash. Bake until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted in center reads 190 degrees, 30-35 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
If you want to make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake:
After shaping rolls, wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate the shaped rolls overnight.
At least an hour before baking, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise (still covered in plastic wrap). Bake as directed.
To freeze the dough, put the covered pan in the freezer until the unbaked rolls are frozen. Store frozen rolls in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
To defrost, place them on a tray dusted with flour and cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for about two hours at room temperature.
Proof and bake as directed.
Bread dough will keep in the freezer for up to a month; you can store it longer, but the yeast may begin to degrade and the bread may not rise as well.
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