These pumpkin dinner rolls are soft and full of warm flavors. Pumpkin puree moistens it and makes the rolls golden. Whether you shape them as mini pumpkins or not they are going to be a festive addition to the table.
4CAll Purpose/Bread Flour (Add more for dusting)500g
1 3/4TspFine sea salt10g
11/2TspPumpkin Pie Spice OR
Few Pecan Halves / Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds for stem
Activate the yeast
Warm the milk to about 105℉ or just warm to touch. Mix the sugar with the milk thoroughly and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast blooms and the mixture turns frothy.
Make the dough
Take the flour in a bowl and mix in the salt and spices. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add the activated yeast, pumpkin puree, egg, melted butter, and most of the remaining milk. Use a fork or spoon to mix the liquid ingredients together. Mix and knead for 3 to 4 minutes if using a mixer or knead about 10 -12 minutes by hand.
This a wet dough so it sticks to the bowl and kneading surfaces. To prevent liberally dust the surfaces with flour. Whether using the mixer or not finish kneading by hand. Form into a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled (1 to 1.5 hours).
Punch down the dough. Place it on a floured surface and knead a few times. Form into a log and divide it into 12 pieces (see video). Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Slightly flatten the ball and make 8 evenly spaced snips from the outside. Do not cut into the center.
Shape with string
Take 2 pieces of string each about 16 inches long. Make a plus sign with then with each string meeting at the halfway point. Take one ball of dough and place on the string centering on the midpoint. Let the smooth side of the dough be facing up. Brings the string ends up and cross at the center and carry over to the bottom dicing each quarter in half (see pic). This creates 8 equal sections. Tie or twist the string ends together at the bottom of the dough. Just let the strings lay on the surface of the dough, do not pull it tight and cut into the dough.
Arrange the balls on the baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled. At this point, the rolls have visible become bigger and you can see the final shape beginning to emerge. About 20 to 30 minutes(Note).
Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃). Beat the egg with water to make an egg wash. Make an indentation at the center of the rolls. Coat the rolls with egg wash and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool for a few minutes before placing the stem on the premade holes.
To test if the dough has risen enough on the second rise gently press it with your fingertip. If the indentation is visible and slowly springs back then the loaf/roll is ready for the oven. You may find it tough to test on shaped loaves. In this case, remember that under-proofing better than over-proofing. So at the end of 20 minutes if the rolls look visibly bigger it is time to bake.