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Nov 17, 2013

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

The first and last time I made these pumpkin dinner rolls was three years ago, when they were the Bread of the Month for the Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook page.  While they were tasty, they didn't look very pretty. Let's just say, I needed to practice my shaping skills.

The bread was wonderful, but it looked all stretchy and wrinkly.

I think I was trying too hard to tuck all of the loose ends in and I ran out of room.

This time I decided to go with a single knot and not worry about the ends.... so much easier!

After baking bread for about four years, I'm beginning to understand the nuances of working with dough.

While baking cookies or cakes is precise, baking bread is more about how it feels to you, the baker.

It's about getting to know the dough and how it behaves. To quote Lionel Vatinet, baking bread is "mysterious and endlessly alluring."

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Even though these dinner rolls derive their color from pumpkin, they do not have a pumpkin flavor. Even pumpkin haters will love them, if they can get past the color. They are super soft, and are delicious with butter, pumpkin butter, or apple butter. They also make excellent buns for turkey or chicken salad sandwiches. Trust me.

They are soft and fluffy, and are great fresh out of the oven with butter, honey, apple butter, or even pumpkin butter. These rolls can be assembled in advance and refrigerated overnight, covered, on the baking sheet prior to baking.

Much prettier, right?

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

For general knotting instructions, see this post in Fine Cooking (this is what I attempted the first time). To see step-by-step photos of the single knot that I used, visit Phyl's blog.

I made this recipe to use up leftover pumpkin puree after making this recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. For additional pumpkin recipes check out the following posts:

Pumpkin martini

Pumpkin cheesecake brownies

Mini pumpkin cheesecakes

Pumpkin, Walnut, and Cranberry Loaf

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Recipe

Adapted from Phyl of Cabbages and King Cakes, who was inspired by Peter Reinhart
Makes 12 rolls and can easily be doubled.


3 C/14.5 ounces bread flour
1 T plus 3/4 tsp instant yeast
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C lukewarm milk
3 T room temperature unsalted butter
1/2 C canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 room temperature egg
1 lightly beaten egg and a pinch of salt for glazing


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the second egg) and stir with a large spoon until all of the dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Knead with the dough hook and knead on low for 5 minutes. Add additional flour by tablespoon if needed to get a tacky but not sticky dough. Be careful not to add too much extra flour.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or dough rising bucket and turn it to coat with oil. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. It will take longer if your kitchen is cool.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and divide the dough into 12 even pieces (I use a scale).
  7. Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope. Tie each rope into a single knot. 
  8. Place the knots on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack placed in the middle. 
  10. Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and proof for about an hour, until doubled. 
  11. Brush the rolls with with the egg wash and bake for about 16 to 18 minutes, until golden. 
  12. You can serve these immediately, or cool on a rack. Store leftovers in a plastic bag for about 2 days. 
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