I have made these buns for Thanksgiving dinner for the past couple years and I really like them. They are golden and pumpkin-shaped, delicious, and add a festive touch to the dinner table. I also make them, formed in a standard bun shape, for school lunches in the fall season. I use the bread machine to make the dough, so that is the form of the recipe.
Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Add to the bread machine in the following order:
1 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
Set machine to dough setting and let the magic happen. I love doing my dough in the bread machine as it holds the heat and humidity in a way our house does not.
Reserve for later:
1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
When the dough is ready, form into buns as normal and then flatten them slightly and make 8 cuts around the edge to form the lobes of the pumpkin, leaving the middle whole. Poke your finger in the middle to make an indentation that will form the spot for your pistachio “stem” later. Place them on parchment on a cookie sheet and set them to rise for 45 minutes. (I do this in an oven which I have turned on briefly to get the temperature up to 85 degrees F or so for good, draft-free rising.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If the middle indentation has risen, poke it again with your finger. Brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake buns for 20 minutes. Remove, cool on rack, and insert the pistachio in the indentation to form the stem of the pumpkin.