Monday, November 24, 2014

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

We were invited over to a friend's home for Thanksgiving, and in our discussion about food, she mentioned her mother usually makes the rolls, but she will not be there.

"I can bring rolls!" I said.

Later, when I got home and started thinking about everything I said I'd bring, I realized I have never in my life made rolls.  It is possible I have made everything but rolls.  I did a little research and picked two recipes out - pumpkin dinner rolls shaped like pumpkins and Alex Guarnaschelli's Parker House rolls.  I got enough butter and flour to make both recipes on Saturday, but ended up liking the pumpkin rolls well enough to just stop there. 

As far as shaping rolls like pumpkins, well, they're cute and would look nice in a basket, but they are a bunch more work, something not a lot of us have time for around Thanksgiving.  And they can't function as much like biscuits when they have slices around the sides.  So when I bring pumpkin dinner rolls on Thanksgiving, they will just look like rolls.  Rolls with a vivid yellow color due to the pumpkin in the dough, which I think it just beautiful. I also like that part of the roll that is feathery from the rolls being baked next to one another. They will be fantastic with apple butter, I think.

I know which desserts I'm making, but now I need to figure out something green to bring. Any ideas?

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Recipe from Beyond Kimchee, based on a recipe from Delicious Dishes

  • ¾ cup whole milk, scalded
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (1/2 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 15-20 pecan halves, sliced into 3 vertical sections
  • ¼ cup melted butter, optional 
  1. Pour hot milk in a mixing bowl, add butter and stir to melt. Add sugars, pumpkin puree, salt to the milk and combine well.
  2. In a small bowl proof yeast in a lukewarm water with a teaspoon sugar. When it gets foamy add to the pumpkin mixture, and add the egg, mix well.
  3. Add in flour gradually and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. The dough will be sticky.
  4. If using electric mixer, attach a dough hook and beat the mixture until the dough itself pulls from the side of the bowl.
  5. Turn the dough out to a wooden board dusted with a little flour. Knead with hand for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball shape, place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hr.
  6. Punch the dough to deflate and knead it for a few seconds on a wooden board. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into about 15 pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into a ball shape with your hand. Flatten the piece with palm of your hand a little. Using a knife, give 8 cuts on the edge to mimic flower pedals but the leave center uncut.
  8. Poke the center with your finger to give a deep indentation, and repeat the same procedure to all the other pieces.
  9. Place them, 2" apart, on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or baking mat, and let them rise again to be doubled, about 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven 350ºF for 20 minutes.
  11. If the center indentation is not obvious on the rolls, poke them again with your finger.
  12. Brush with egg wash, if you wish, and bake for 9-12 minutes until the top gets slightly golden.
  13. Brush the rolls with melted butter or a little honey diluted with water to make it shine if you wish.
  14. Insert pecan slices on top to mimic pumpkin stem.
  15. If you make these into regular rolls, they will need a bit more baking time. Just keeping watching them!  I think I did about 15-16 minutes.

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