Pumpkin Dinner Rolls {BOM}

It’s October, so naturally the BOM (bread-of-the-month) for the Facebook Artisan Bread Bakers group would be something featuring pumpkin. However, unlike the very pumpkiny Pumpkin Gingerbread we made a few years ago at this time, the pumpkin in these dinner rolls is there more for texture and color than flavor. In fact, several of the bakers reported not tasting any pumpkin in the rolls at all. My friend Kayte, avowed pumpkin hater, made these rolls and loved them.

I found the recipe here. I made a few changes to the recipe. I used my yeast conversion chart to convert the active dry yeast called for in the recipe to instant yeast and ended up cutting back the amount of yeast in the recipe, as it seemed like way too much to me. I substituted bread flour for the flour. And I reworked the mixing instructions to make the dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Makes 24 rolls (Adapted from Peter Reinhart)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

Directions

  • Stir together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in electric mixer bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low with paddle attachment until well mixed, approximately 1 minute.
  • Switch to dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes, adding flour or water, as necessary, to achieve a smooth, elastic dough that is tacky, but not sticky.
  • Place dough in large oiled bowl and turn dough to oil top. Cover bowl with a clean, lint-free towel and allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured board or Silpat. Divide dough in half, then divide each half into 12 pieces.

  • Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough under your palms into a rope approximately 10-12 inches long.

  • “Tie” the dough rope into a knot. (For detailed shaping instructions, click here.)

  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Cover pan and let rolls rise until nearly doubled, approximately 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Just before baking, brush the rolls with egg wash (1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt).
  • Bake the rolls for about 16-18 minutes, or until golden and baked through.

  • Serve hot from the oven, plain or with butter, honey butter, or pumpkin butter.

These rolls were absolutely delicious — softy, yeasty, and as good as any dinner roll I’ve ever eaten. I baked one pan on the day I made the dough and refrigerated the other pan for a few days before baking. Both batches came out great.

These rolls will be appearing on my table for Thanksgiving this year and for many years to come. Give them a try; I’d be willing to bet they’ll be on your Thanksgiving table, too.

Rosemary Olive Knots {ModBak}

Rosemary Olive Knots is the next to last recipe in the Breads section of the Modern Baker Challenge. The individually knotted rolls are stuffed with a savory mixture of olives, rosemary, and olive oil. So these rolls are not a side dish, complement your meal kind of bread; they stand on their own and are best served with a strong, hearty dish or on their own, split and filled with strong flavored cheese or meat.

As with many of the recipes in this section, this one calls for mixing the dough in the food processor. And as with the past few recipes, I ignored this part of the instructions and mixed it in my Kitchen Aid mixer.

The dough was fairly slack, but it rose well and developed some body as it fermented.

After the initial rise, I pressed the dough out into a square and put it in the fridge to chill for about an hour.

While the dough was chilling, I mixed the filling, which consisted of olives, rosemary, olive oil, and cracked black pepper. If you’ve ever tried to chop olives on a cutting board, you know what a challenge it can be. I always end up with as many on the counter and floor as on the board, so I came up with a better idea — chopping them directly in the bowl with kitchen shears.

The recipe calls for Gaeta or Kalamata olives. I used Kalamatas, but I was a little concerned as they can be a bit on the tart side, and these particular olives were. Given the strong, pungent flavor of rosemary, I worried that the rolls might come out bitter-tasting.

In order to strip the leaves off the rosemary, I held the stem with one hand and ran my thumb and finger from top to bottom, which caused the tender leaves to fall off the stem.

After mixing the filling ingredients, I retrieved the dough from the refrigerator.

I spread the olive mixture over the lower half of the dough.

Then I folded the dough in half.

The recipe makes 12 rolls, and I scored the dough to create a guide for cutting even strips.

Now came the fun part. As I read the recipe, I couldn’t imagine how it was possible to tie the strips into knots without spilling much of the filling out onto the board. In the end, I lost less filling than I thought I might, but I still left a good bit of it on the board.

I set the rolls aside to proof for an hour. While the rolls rose, I preheated the oven to 400° F.

I baked the proofed rolls for about 25 minutes, until they were golden brown and firm to the touch.

The rolls smelled amazing — in addition to the normal, fresh-baked bread smell, the rosemary and olives gave the rolls an irresistible aroma. I couldn’t wait to try them and wondered if my concern about the strong, bitter flavor of the olives and rosemary had been overblown.

I served the rolls with a dinner of chicken and forbidden rice. We all enjoyed them, but I found that, as I had feared, the filling was a tad on the bitter side. I think a milder olive would have been a better choice. But overall, these rolls were very good and would make an impressive dinner roll to serve to company.