Pumpkin Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

Ever want a sliiiightly fall bread, but not want to go for the full sweet loaf we so often think of as pumpkin bread? These rolls have a hint of the floral pumpkin sense on your tongue when you eat them, that just hint at fall, but still fit with your dinner.

Photo of the front of my handwritten recipe card. Ingredients are listed in text further down the post.
Photo of the back of my handwritten recipe card. Method is listed in text further down the post.

I first found this recipe on the King Arthur website a few years ago, copied down on a (notecard like I often do), and I’ve made it every fall since. It is no longer up on the King Arthur website and I can’t find a copy of it anywhere I’ve searched, so I thought I’d share it with you all! 

The pumpkin puree serves like mashed potatoes do in a traditional potato bread: potato doesn’t have the same gluten as flour so you end up with a softer, pillowy-er bread. These rolls take the extra step in shaping that makes them pull apart easily and adds a little flair to your dinner table. If it feels like too much fuss and bother, they work as normal rolls or as a simple loaf.

I don’t think i’ve mentioned yet on this blog, that i have the honor of running my office’s hackerspace. We’ve been discovering ways of bringing this culture to the work from home era. We’ve been finding a lot of projects where you hack and make at home, which involves a few kitchen projects! Tonight, I led my coworkers in a bake-along to get the dough started and we’ll reconvene tomorrow for the shaping. It’s these little things that are keeping me going in this isolating time (I live alone). If you have any fun ideas for us to try out, let me know! 

Photo of the dinner rolls after baking and cooling.

A few notes before we get started:

Ingredients

Recipe yields 12 dinner rolls

  • 7g (2 tsp) active dry yeast (one packet) 
  • 113g (½ cup) water
  • 43g (2 tbsp) honey
  • 225g (1 cup)  pumpkin puree OR mashed sweet potato
  • 1 large egg
  • 28g (2 tbsp) butter, melted & cooled (or sub vegan butter)
  • 10g (2 tsp) Kosher salt (or calculate your salt substitute)
  • ~400-500g (3.25-4 cups) all purpose flour
  • vegetable oil, for mixing bowls & muffin cups
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Method

Day 1: Evening

  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer, mix water, yeast and honey. Let sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.
  • Add pumpkin puree (or sweet potato, if using), eggs, butter and salt. Mix well.
  • With the mixer running, add the flour in batches. At about 3 cups, switch to adding spoons of flour until dough comes together and begins to form a ball. You might not use all the flour.
  • Knead until smooth & elastic: about 5 minutes in the stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand on a floured board. 
  • Place in an oiled bowl and rise overnight in the fridge.

Day 2, about 10AM: Dough

  • Remove dough from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature, ~ 1 hr.
  • Deflate dough and knead for about 1 minute. 
  • Let dough rise for 10 minutes.
  • Grease muffin cups.
  • To shape the dough: make 36 equal balls (~37g each). Place 3 balls in each of the greased muffin cups. Cover the muffin tray with plastic and let rise for 1 hour. 
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Check that a rack is set in the middle of the oven.
  • Once the dough has risen for an hour, brush rolls with egg white.
  • Bake for ~20 minutes on the middle rack, or until rolls reach an internal temperature of 185°F.
  • Remove the muffin tin from the oven and place on the cooling rack. Let rest for 5 minutes and then remove rolls from the muffin tin to complete cooling.

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