“Cause I’m Peter, Peter the pumpkin eater
And the party has just begun”
~ Garth Brooks
A visit to the pumpkin patch is always inspiring and brings in wonderful new ideas. This time around, pumpkin dinner rolls are on my mind.
Autumn is here with all its hues. The sun has taken a little step back. The trees are slowly lulling themselves to sleep. The sounds of leaves crackling underneath our feet make music to our ears. And there’s sugar, pumpkin spice and all things nice waiting for us.
To make these spongy soft, moist and delicious buns, you need:
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée (pumpkins cooked, drained and puréed with a blender)
- 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup milk (plant-based or dairy)
- 1/4 cup sugar (brown, caster or coconut)
- 1 and 1/4. teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (vegan or regular)
- 1 tablespoon milk (to brush the buns before they bake)
- 1 tablespoon butter (to brush the buns just after baking)
- A few pecans/pumpkin seeds or cloves for pumpkin stems
- Combine the warm milk, sugar and active dry yeast in a cup and set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom.
- In a small bowl, sift the flour and add in the salt.
- In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin purée and milk-sugar-yeast mixture after the yeast has started blooming. Add in the flour and mix until the flour is incorporated to form a shaggy dough.
- Now add in the 2 tablespoons of butter and keep kneading for about 10 minutes till a soft smooth dough is formed. The test for dough readiness is when your dough springs back lightly when you press it down.
- Set the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with a damp towel and set in a warm place for approximately an hour till the dough has risen to double its size.
- Now punch down the dough and divide it into 8 pieces (I made 10 as my toddlers eat smaller sized buns). Roll each of these dough pieces into smooth round balls by tucking the dough underneath to get nice smooth tops.
- Work with one dough ball at a time to shape them like pumpkins. Leave the rest of the dough balls covered with a damp cloth.
- To create the pumpkin shape, use cooking twine to tie the dough ball. Place the dough over the twine, bring both ends up and over. Twist and wrap the twine over and under the dough. Flip it over and continue to do this until you have about 8 sections on your dough all (see the picture). Now tie the ends of the string at the top and cut off the excess string. The string shouldn’t be tied too tightly or too loose for it to work well. Now set this dough ball on a baking tray, covered with a damp cloth. Work on the rest of the dough balls, one at a time and shape them as pumpkins.
- Alternatively, one can flatten the dough ball lightly and cut sections with a scissor to create a pumpkin-like shape. However, I preferred the twine method even though it was a bit time consuming as the results were definitely much better with this.
- Now set the dough balls (covered) to rise for another 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to about 170 degrees centigrade.
- Now remove the cloth, brush the tops of the buns lightly with milk leaving about an inch of space between the buns and bake for about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. I baked mine for 20 minutes. Test for oneness by inserting a skewer in the centre of the buns. It needs to come out clean.
- Now brush the tops of the warm buns with butter and set them aside to cool. Now cut off the twine. Insert a pecan, clove or pumpkin seed for the pumpkin stem.
- Serve with some delicious pumpkin soup or just enjoy them as a snack with butter.
If dinner rolls aren’t your thing, check out these other lip-smacking pumpkin recipes and more details about the pumpkin patches in and around Zürich in these links below.
A visit to the pumpkin patch
Pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin bread recipes
Have a great Fall y’all!
Disclaimer: Opinions and methods expressed are solely of the writer. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any obligation or liability which may arise from the content.