When the autumn winds roll in, there's comfort in embracing warm and delightful baked goods like our Soft and Fluffy Homemade Pumpkin Dinner Rolls. Not just any bread, but pumpkin dinner rolls that infuse the warmth of the season straight into your kitchen. The best part is seeing the smiles on the faces of the people at your Thanksgiving dinner table. But this is not just a holiday recipe. You can enjoy it year-round by swapping the pumpkin out with pureed squash. Butternut and acorn squash are two of my favorites.
This recipe is adapted from Sunset magazine's recipe, Squash Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls.
WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT THESE DINNER ROLLS?
These pumpkin rolls don't just stand out due to their undeniable softness. Their unique pumpkin flavor, coupled with that melt-in-your-mouth texture, ensures they're the highlight of any dining table they grace, especially the Thanksgiving table.
My mother made the most delicious dinner rolls. They were moist, white as snow, and unforgettable. I made my pumpkin dinner rolls for Thanksgiving the year before she passed away. She said they were "better than her dinner rolls." There is no greater compliment.
IS THIS RECIPE BUDGET-FRIENDLY?
Mary's Two Cents: Absolutely! Marked as "Cheap" on ohthat'sgood, this recipe ensures we're "cooking for two without breaking the bank." Heaven knows the rest of a holiday meal is expensive enough, so why not save money by making the rolls yourself? Plus, you get all the compliments. The ingredients are straightforward and easy on the wallet, giving every cook a chance to make delicious dinner rolls for family and friends.
For the full recipe with quantities, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Bread flour – bread flour has a higher level of protein than all-purpose flour. This helps create taller dinner rolls with a nice chewy, fluffy texture. If you don't have bread flour, use the same amount of all-purpose flour. Your rolls might not rise as tall and be less chewy.
- Warm Milk: It should be at room temperature. Too hot, and it might impact the yeast mixture adversely.
- Pumpkin: It gives that authentic pumpkin flavor! Ensure its purity without additional flavorings.
- Can't find instant yeast? Active dry yeast can step in. Just adjust the rise times up a bit.
- If honey isn't your favorite, maple syrup lends a beautiful earthy sweetness.
- Homemade pumpkin puree offers that fresh-from-the-garden taste if you prefer it over canned. Just make sure the consistency of your pumpkin puree is the same as the canned version. If it is watery, it won't work.
- A sprinkle of brown sugar elevates the caramel undertones.
- Sesame seeds can be an alternate topping to poppy seeds for a nuanced nutty touch.
- Large Bowl: This is where the magic starts so properly prepare the bowl your dough will rise in. Ensure your bread dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl for best results.
- Baking Sheet: Essential for achieving that golden brown perfection.
- Bowl of a Stand Mixer: If you're lucky to have one, it makes the mixing process smoother and more consistent.
- Wooden Spoon: Makes mixing easier and more effective.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Your dough should roughly double in volume.
A warm spot in your kitchen is ideal for letting the dough rise. Many people put the dough in the oven with the light on. If you have a newer oven you might have a "proof" setting. Check your options dial. I had my oven for two years before I realized I had a proof setting!
This allows the risen dough to gain more volume and fluffiness.
An egg wash can offer a uniform golden-brown sheen.
STEP 1: In a medium bowl, combine milk with yeast, sugar, and salt. Let stand for 5 minutes.
STEP 2: Add egg yolk and beat well to combine.
STEP 3: Add pumpkin and shortening; mash with a fork until shortening is in small pieces.
STEP 4: Add ¾ cup flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
STEP 5: Gradually mix in more flour by the tablespoon until dough collects around the spoon.
STEP 6: Stir until the dough ball forms and the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
STEP 7: Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.
STEP 8: Put the dough in a greased bowl; cover it with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
PRO COOKING TIPS
- When incorporating flour, be mindful of measurements. Start with the given cups of flour and add cautiously if needed.
- Kneading is crucial. Once done, your dough ball should transform into a smooth ball. Dividing the bread dough into equal pieces ensures consistency in size and bake quality.
- Post-baking, store any leftovers in an airtight container. They'll stay fresh and delectable.
- Filling your bowl with warm water, then pouring it out and drying the bowl completely before greasing it, will give your rise time a little head start.
Soft and Fluffy Homemade Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- Large bowl
- Large greased bowl
- Small baking pan
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons, warm milk
- ½ teaspoon dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons puréed squash or canned pumpkin
- 1.25 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 cup bread flour (you might need a bit more) you can use all-purpose flour (see cooking note below)
- ½ tablespoons butter melted, plus more for pan
- 1 teaspoon poppy or sesame seeds
- In a medium bowl, combine milk with yeast, sugar, and salt. Let stand 5 minutes, then add egg and beat well to combine.
- Add pumpkin and shortening; mash with a fork until shortening is in small pieces. Add ¾ cups flour and mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Gradually mix in more flour by the tablespoon until dough collects around spoon and pulls away from sides of bowl (you may not need all the flour).
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes. Put dough in a greased bowl; cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Preheat oven to 400° and butter a small baking sheet. Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead until dough is smooth and supple, about 7 minutes. Cut dough into 3 balls; cut each ball into 2 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a round and arrange rounds on baking sheet so they barely touch. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds; cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then pull apart to serve.
Remember to cover the dough with plastic wrap during its resting phase; it helps in the rising process and prevents the top of the dough ball from drying out.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
These Pumpkin Dinner Rolls are more than just bread; they're a seasonal experience, worth waiting for. As they bake, their aroma fills the air, promising a soft, flavorful roll. They're an excellent addition to any meal and shine especially when served warm from the baking sheet. And, if you're fortunate to have any left the next day, warm them up and enjoy them with some honey butter.
Peek at the detailed steps, get your supplies and ingredients ready, and take pleasure in the baking journey!