Adapted from Gourmet magazine
These pumpkin dinner rolls are rich, buttery, and just a bit flakey from the butter. They’re perfect paired with Roast Chicken and Pear, Walnut, and Gorgonzola Salad for a tasty fall supper.
Prep Time: 20 minutes total for mixing, kneading, and shaping
Inactive Prep Time: 2 or more hours (for initial rising), 45 minutes for second rise
Cook Time: 40-50 minutes
Serves: About 20 rolls, 2” in diameter
¾ cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F, no hotter than 115)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt (or to taste) – I have found that Trader Joe’s fine sea salt offers the best flavor (don’t use iodized salt)
1/3 cup sugar
About 5 ½ cups white all-purpose flour, spoon scooped into the measuring cup and 1 leveled off (or 27 oz by weight), plus more for kneading if necessary
1 ½ sticks cold butter, cut into ¼ to ½ inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoons ground cloves
1 large whole egg, lightly beaten
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree, or 16oz canned pure pumpkin
Egg wash – mix 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water
Extra butter to brush on top of baked rolls, optional
2 – 10-inch round spring-form pans
Food Processor, optional
Proof the yeast by combing the 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast with the ¾ cups of warm milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. The mixture will become foamy.
In a large bowl (or in the bowl of a food processor) combine the 5 ½ cups (27 ounces of flour) with the remaining sugar, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, and 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt.
Blend in the pieces of butter until the mixture looks like wet sand.
Add the whole egg, 2 cups of pumpkin puree, and the yeast mixture. Stir until the dough is well combined.
Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead for about 10 minutes, adding in more flour if necessary to keep it from sticking. The dough should become smooth and elastic. Form into a large ball.
Spray a bowl with non-stick cooking spray and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until it’s double in size, about 1-2 hours.
Shaping and Baking:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once it doubles in size, turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and form into small balls.
Grease two 10-inch spring-form round pans, or 10-inch round cake pans if you do not have spring-form pans.
Fit the dough balls, with a bit of space between them, into the pans. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let them rise and expand for about 45 minutes, or until about double in size.
Once raised, brush them with egg wash and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-50 minutes.
Remove the rolls from the pans, top with butter, and let cool on a rack.