Pumpkin Rolls – Perfect Bread For Fall!

Pumpkin Biscuits

Pumpkin Rolls

It’s Autumn in my part of the world, and that means one thing:  every conceivable food and drink becomes pumpkin flavored.

When I was a kid, the only pumpkin food was pie. But over the years, pumpkin has made an appearance in ice cream, tea, pancakes, coffee, cereal, butter, and on and on. Generally, I’m not one to jump on the pop culture food bandwagon (don’t get me started on Greek yogurt!), but I have a pumpkin roll recipe that’s adds a little seasonal festivity into a meal without being in-your-face PUMPKIN.

Now, don’t panic people, but these rolls are yeast based.  No doubt, while experienced bakers are shrugging their shoulders and murmuring ‘so what?’, newbies hearing the word ‘yeast’, are running to the refrigerated tubes of pre-made dough.

I’ve said it before, using yeast is a snap – especially if you have a food processor. No food processor? Go to a thrift shop, save up your pennies, or put it on your Christmas wish-list. A food processor will cut down on cooking time which, in turn, will encourage you to cook from scratch more often.

This recipe makes about 20 rolls, depending on how big you cut them. You may be tempted to half the recipe, thinking 20-ish rolls too many. Well, I wouldn’t be true to my self-proclaimed title of Queen of Freeze if I didn’t advise you to make the entire recipe (or even double it!) and freeze the leftovers. Next time you want homemade Pumpkin Rolls, just zap them in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Besides saving money, I LOVE to save time.

NOTE:  While munching on a Pumpkin Roll, it occurred to me that chocolate frosting would really enhance its yummy-ness. (Of course, adding  chocolate to pretty much anything guarantees thumbs up from this chocoholic.) The frosting turned the dinner rolls into a delectable morning pastry.

Chocolate frosted Pumpkin Rolls

Chocolate frosted Pumpkin Rolls

PUMPKIN ROLLS – makes about 20, depending on how big you cut them

  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup milk (I used nonfat – use what you have)
  • 1½ tsp dry yeast
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ cup pumpkin (fresh or canned)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Combine water and milk, then heat to approximately 105º Fahrenheit. Stir in yeast and let proof for about 5 minutes.

In the workbowl of your food processor (or large mixing bowl)  put 3 cups of flour (note that you won’t be using all the flour at this time), the sugars, pumpkin, butter, salt, and spices.

When the yeast liquid is foamy, turn on the food processor. Then slowly pour in the liquid through the pour spout. Add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball. Run the machine for 45 seconds to knead. If you’re not using a food processor, knead by hand for 10 minutes. (I wouldn’t be surprised if sticky dough on your hands and working the dough for 10 minutes convinces you to get a food processor!)

Place dough in a greased bowl, smoosh it down, then flip it. This will grease both sides of the dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour.

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface. Roll into a square ¾” thick. Using a knife or pizza cutter, slice dough into individual rolls. Place them on a greased or nonstick cookie sheet, cover with a tea towel, and let rise 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350º Fahrenheit oven for 25 minutes.