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Oct 16, 2017

Pumpkin Cornmeal and Rye Pull-Apart Rolls

These Pumpkin Cornmeal and Rye Pull-Apart Rolls are moist, mildly sweet, and absolutely perfect for dinner rolls, sliders, and however else you like to enjoy good bread.

While these Pumpkin Cornmeal and Rye Pull-Apart Rolls are brightly colored from the pumpkin puree, they really don't actually taste like pumpkin. The biggest role that the pumpkin plays is to add an amazing long lasting moistness to these rolls.

The flavor and aroma of these rolls are pretty complex. I used a medium grind corn meal, which added some crunch to the rolls. There is also a cup of rye flour, which significantly changes the texture of bread dough. Rye flour contains much less gluten than wheat flour, and the dough behaves very differently.

The aroma from this bread is reminiscent of rye, and the flavor is mildly sweet.

Note: The original recipe for this bread calls for 1/3 cup of light molasses. The only molasses I had was dark, so I made a 50/50 mixture of molasses and brown rice syrup to simulate light molasses. It worked out wonderfully, with very little heavy molasses flavor.

These rolls are so good split and slathered with butter. They are also wonderful with split pea soup. We also used these to make really tasty chicken salad sandwiches. They are really versatile. I'm planning on serving them for Thanksgiving this year.

This month the Bread Baking Babes are making Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread, a recipe chosen by Judy of Judy's Gross Eats. Just so you know, her recipes are not gross.

I am a member of The Bread Baking Babes, a group of bloggers who absolutely love baking bread. Each month, one of the Babes chooses a new (to us) recipe, and we all post our results on the 16th of the month.

I'm pretty sure each of the Babes have their own version of this recipe, so check them out.

Pumpkin Cornmeal and Rye Pull-Apart Rolls


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 113 grams (1 cup) fine or medium grind yellow cornmeal
  • 103 grams (1 cup) medium or dark rye flour (I used dark)
  • 18 grams (1 tablespoon) salt
  • 1 cup warm water (about 105 degrees F)
  • 1 cup warm buttermilk (about 105 degrees F). See note.
  • 123 grams (1/2 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter or oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 1/3 cup light molasses (I used half regular molasses, not sulfured, and half brown rice syrup)
  • 540 to 570 grams (4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups) bread or all purpose flour.
  • Melted butter for brushing


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, cornmeal, rye, and salt. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
  2. Add the water, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, oil, and molasses, and combine all of the ingredients with a dough whisk or the paddle attachment.
  3. Add 540 grams (4 1/2 cups) of the flour and knead with the dough hook. Continue to add flour, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a smooth but tacky dough. My dough was somewhat sticky, but still easy enough to handle.
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, turn it to coat with oil, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
  5. Line a 9 inch by 13 inch cake pan or quarter sheet pan with parchment paper with enough overhang so that you can lift the rolls out of the pan when they are finished cooking.
  6. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces, and shape each into a roll. Place each shaped roll onto the parchment lined pan in a 6 x 4 pattern. Be sure to keep the dough pieces and the shaped rolls covered with a dish towel or oiled plastic wrap as you work.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When the rolls have doubled in size, brush them with the melted butter, and bake for 25 minutes, until the rolls reach an interior temperature of about 185 to 190 degrees F.
  8. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and let cool. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. These rolls stay moist for a couple of days, but it is best to freeze any leftovers beyond a couple of days.

Pumpkin Cornmeal and Rye Pull-Apart Rolls

Would you like to comment?

  1. Split pea soup you say! Funny I have a crock pot brewing on the counter now. I think you're spot on. How perfect.
    I can't imagine more perfect rolls than yours here Karen.

  2. Immediately thought of Thanksgiving before even reading your post, which shows that great minds plan menus alike ;-)

    beautiful, and love the use of rye flour - plus the pumpkin is amazing too, the color! WOW!

    1. Aww, thank you Sally! The recipe is so surprising with the cornmeal and rye. Just the perfect twist to a dinner roll.

  3. You're absolutely right! Judy's recipes are anything but gross.

    And your version of her recipe looks brilliant. I love the colour. (Yes, these rolls are perfect for Thanksgiving. Even though you can't taste the pumpkin....)

    Great idea to serve the rolls with split pea soup. Mmmmm, j'adore split pea soup....

    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth! I'm actually posting the recipe on Saturday, so stay tuned.

  4. I just made the dough now, cant wait to see the final result. I shaped 11 rolls at aprox. 5 oz per roll, some I scored like a pumpkin. Ohhh so excited.

  5. I love how you can see the corn meal in your rolls! My millet flour was pre-milled this time so I didn't get any coarse bits like when I grind it myself. But maybe next time because this is worth making again!

    1. How about semolina instead if you don't have any home milled millet? I bet that would work!

  6. Absolutely perfect for Thanksgiving. I love the color - so autumnal!

  7. Your rolls look absolutely gorgeous, Karen. I'm hungry again. :)

  8. Look at thise perfect rolls. I love pull-apart-bread, such nice fluffy sides.

    1. Thanks Lien. I love peeling off the ethereal layers!

  9. Your rolls look fabulous Karen! I love the color. I bet they did go well with Split Pea Soup. Very nice!


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