I was looking at a recipe for pumpkin buns. They looked more like fancy dinner rolls, but somehow I lost the website and couldn’t find it. So I decided to make cinnamon rolls out of the dough instead, only they may not be as sweet. But that’s okay. With just a 1/2 cup of pumpkin, they aren’t immensely pumpkin flavored, either. The pumpkin is just enough to tell you that it’s there, and to slightly change the color of the rolls. I took one of the pans to work, so these photos are from my phone camera. (update, 1/1/14: added photos from my better camera.) Also, I used an 8″ round cake pan, so there wasn’t enough room for nine rolls. I had two left over that I had to bake separately in a small 4 inch pan.
1/4 cup water, lukewarm
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 1/2 cup-4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup brown sugar
about 3 Tablespoons Cinnamon, sprinkled
First warm water to about 110 degrees. You want water to not be too hot, but not cold. Dissolve brown sugar in water and add yeast. Stir carefully and let sit for about 5-10 minutes until foamy. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, add melted butter, milk, 1 egg, salt, pumpkin puree, and stir to mix slightly, dump the yeast mixture on top and gradually add the flour one cup at a time. Mix on low for about 6 minutes or until smooth. Dough will be slightly tacky or sticky. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and turn dough in bowl to coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel or use plastic wrap. Keep bowl in a warm area, and away from drafts. Let dough rise until doubled, which is about an hour.
Punch down dough after it has doubled in size and knead a few times. On a floured surface, roll out to about a 20″ square. Spread softened butter, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up dough into a log and slice about 18 equal slices. You can use two 9″ round cake pans that have been lined with buttered parchment paper. Each pan can fit about 9 rolls.
Cover pans with plastic and let rolls rest a second time to rise, about 30-45 minutes. At this point, you can refrigerate them overnight and bake them off in the morning, or you can bake them off now. If you decide to bake them off in the morning, let it sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour. If you bake it off now, bake for about 20-30 minutes in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F.
For optional cream cheese glaze:
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in bowl. Beat until smooth. Spread on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The middle ones are the best, imo.