Nothing quite says Autumn like the smell of pumpkins. As the temperature drops, and the days get shorter, I look forward to the spice-laced treats that inevitably grace my table during this, my favourite season. So, when it came to making a bread recipe, suitable for the occasion, I just knew it had to be my spiced pumpkin rolls.
Puréed pumpkin gives these spiced bread rolls soft, moist texture whilst imparting the flavour of Autumn in a way nothing else could. Cinnamon and nutmeg ensure that anyone within proximity of your kitchen knows that Autumn is on its way. These spiced pumpkin rolls are the perfect way to start the day. Halved and toasted with plenty of butter and maybe a taste of marmalade.
Not only do these rolls taste of pumpkin, but they look like mini pumpkins too! A super simple technique, but one that takes these spiced pumpkin rolls to a totally different level. I use just normal brown string to tie up my rolls and have never had issue. I would, however, recommend buying the least fuzzy string you can find. Greasing the string with butter or vegetable shortening before tying up your rolls, too. This will ensure that the string does not stick to them. Nobody wants a hairy bread roll!
This recipe uses fresh pumpkin however you are welcome to use canned, if you can get hold of it. Do not use pumpkin sold as the carving variety. Carving pumpkins are grown to be large, with a big cavity full of seeds for you to scoop out before carving. As a result, they have little flavour. You are looking for the smaller, edible kind of pumpkin or squash. If you cant find edible pumpkins, you could just as easily use butternut squash. Sweet potato woulds well as a substitute too. Your rolls will still taste great!
Spiced Pumpkin Rolls
- 200 g pumpkin uncooked
- 150 ml milk
- 1 egg large
- 450 g strong white flour
- 14 g instant yeast
- 75 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 8 flaked almonds to decorate
- Peel and dice the pumpkin into cubes of approximately 1 inch in thickness. Steam until soft, before mashing into a purée. Leave to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, add the cooled pumpkin purée, milk and egg. Whisk to fully combine.
- Next, add the flour, yeast, sugar, and spices. Mixing thoroughly to combine, squeezing the dough in your hand to ensure all the flour is hydrated.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for 12-15 minutes (by hand) or 5-6 minutes on a medium speed in a stand mixer. The dough should have elasticity and spring back when lightly pressed.
- Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Prove for one hour.
- Once proved, divide the dough into eight equal pieces before rolling each piece into a ball.
- Take a piece of string approximately three feet in length and coat with butter. Repeat a further seven times so that you have eight lengths of greased string.
- Roll each dough ball in a little flour (the surface of the dough ball should be lightly dusted, not heavily coated) before placing into the the centre of a piece of string.
- Take the two ends of the string, cross the left over the right and before turning 90° to create a cross. Turn the dough ball over and repeat (turning 45° this time). Turn the dough ball over again and repeat one final time, turning 45° before tying a knot to secure. Each dough ball should be divided into eight sections by the string (see picture below).
- Place the wrapped dough balls on a baking sheet and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175°C.
- Pierce the top/centre of each roll with a flaked almond (to create the pumpkin stalk) and bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes (with the string still on).
- Remove the baked rolls from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and removing the string.
- Allow to fully cool before serving.