ADORABLE Pumpkin Bread Rolls!

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

These pumpkin bread rolls are as deliciously soft and tasty as they are adorable and are shaped like small pumpkins. Inside they are filled with a savoury chilli and spring onion cream cheese filling. These pumpkin dinner rolls are perfect for the Thanksgiving table or just because!

Even if you don't shape these bread rolls into the mini pumpkin shape I hope you'll make these as regular round dinner rolls. They're incredibly soft and moreish and I liked that they had pumpkin and turmeric to give them a bit of extra goodness. Plus that filling is just a tasty bonus!

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

I know that I always go on about tangzhong or water roux for breads but I think that if you're making these for Thanksgiving or a similar gathering, the last thing you want to be doing is making bread on the day because you might be preoccupied with a turkey or another bigger dish.

The gratifying thing about tangzhong, apart from the softness of the bread is that it keeps bread fresh for longer. You can absolutely make these a day or two beforehand, keep them in the fridge and then just warm them up just before you want to serve them and they will still be soft and fresh as though you had just pulled them out of the oven.

Tangzhong does make the dough a bit soft to work with and to help in that you can always add a bit more flour (like 50g/1.7ozs) so that it is easier to roll and deal with. I try not to add to much flour as that can make them less fluffy. If you're a pro at tangzhong breads and have made them before (like my bakery style hot cross buns) then just oiling the surface with an oil spray will make things easier. I will say that even my first attempt with the string was clumsy and quite misshapen but once baked I couldn't tell which one was the bungled first attempt as once they swell up they look like pumpkins! Also make sure to let them cool before cutting off the string.

However if you're new to bread dough I will say with a great deal of love to make these as regular round buns or you may find yourself a bit frustrated at dealing with this delicious but slightly sticky dough. They'll be just as delicious as the pumpkin shaped version. Or you can make some cuts into the side of the buns like they do here..

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

When Mr NQN saw these pumpkin buns he was rather delighted. "How did you get the pumpkin marks?"

"It's a secret!" I said.

I know that women are often mysterious to men. That day I had done my workout and had a shower. Mr NQN didn't realise that I was in the bathroom and burst in. I had just gotten out of the shower and was applying body lotion to my leg and it was raised on a bench and I was holding a cooking spatula in my hand.

He looked at me confused when he saw the spatula. "Huh? What are you doing?"

"I'm baking!" I said shutting the door quickly.

Actually I was using the spatula to scrape out the body cream from the container that I had cut in half (my sensitive skin body lotion is unfortunately very expensive and I'm not wasting a drop!). But I like to keep him guessing and I'm sure right now he has no idea what I was doing! And he might think it had something to do with these pumpkin bread rolls...

So tell me Dear Reader, do you make bread at home? Are you a novice or expert with tangzhong? And do you find people a bit mysterious?

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour rising time

Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 30g/1oz flour
  • 125ml/4flozs. milk
  • 30g/1oz. butter
  • 200g/7ozs. pumpkin puree
  • 100ml/3.5flozs. milk
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • A few drops of electric orange food colouring
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50g/1.7ozs sugar
  • 500g/1.1lbs flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 600g/21ozs flavoured cream cheese (spring onion or sweet chilli)
  • 1 egg, beaten for eggwash
  • Kitchen string
  • Non stick oil spray
  • 6 pecans, halved vertically

Step 1 - Whisk the 30g/1oz flour and 125ml/4flozs milk in a small saucepan and heat gently to 65C/149F and then whisk in the butter and melt. Then whisk in pumpkin puree, milk, turmeric, orange colouring, salt, egg and sugar until smooth. Place in a bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook and add the flour and yeast and knead for 10 minutes or until you get the window pane effect (where you can gently pull the dough apart and you can see through it without it breaking).

Thermomix directions: Place the 30g/1oz. flour and 125ml/4flozs. milk in the bowl and set to 5 seconds speed 4. Heat to 65C on speed 0.5 for 5 minutes. Add the butter, pumpkin puree, milk, turmeric, orange colouring, salt, egg and sugar. Set to 15 seconds speed 4. Add in the flour and yeast and use knead function for 5-7 minutes until you get the window pane effect (where you can gently pull the dough apart and you can see through it without it breaking).

Step 2 - Grease a bowl and place the dough in it and cover and allow to triple in size in a warm place (approximately 1 hour). In the meantime take an ice cream scoop and scoop 12 balls of the cream cheese mixture and keep chilled in the fridge.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Cream cheese ball in dough

Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Gather up the sides to seal

Step 3 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F and line two baking trays with parchment. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 even balls (mine were 90g/3ozs. or so each). Press out each ball into a circle with your palms. Place one cream cheese ball in the centre and seal up the sides making sure that there aren't any gaps (I roll any cracked areas against the counter and this buffs them out).

Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Going under and over

Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Trim excess string

Step 4 -Take some string and spray it with oil spray. Wrap it around the dough ball to create ridges up and around three times. This takes practice. My first one was terrible and then after the third one I got the hang of it. Make sure that there is a big tie at the bottom (this will make it easier to take the string off once baked) and snip off the excess string. Repeat with the rest of the dough and cream cheese balls. You don't have to let these rise again for a long time, I find that the time taken to wrap them all in the string is sufficient.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Step 5 - Brush the rolls with eggwash and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Then cut and remove the string carefully. Place half a pecan in the centre as the "stem".

Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Cutting away the string

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

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