If you'd attended my last Shabbat dinner, you'd have thought Thanksgiving had come a week early, as my table was laden was appropriately-themed dishes.
(This is especially ironic considering none of the guests even celebrate this best-loved American holiday.)
Inspired by customers' excitement, not to mention the countless food sites I'm subscribed to, I couldn't help but put the delicious looking ideas into practice.
These perfect pumpkin dinner rolls took first place as my favorite of all my tested dishes.
The recipe itself is super easy - a soft bread dough with the addition of canned or fresh, mashed pumpkin or sweet potato - but the execution sets these apart.
My gorgeously decorative pumpkin rolls looked just wonderful on my bread board, and I'll for sure use the idea again, regardless of the time of year.
I've made it extra easy for you to execute these at home with a step-by-step, pictorial but, if you're looking for an extra speedy route, you can always make pumpkin challah instead.
I hope you don't though....these gorgeous, golden orbs are well worth the extra few minutes of effort!
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin*
1/2 cup milk/non-dairy milk
3 tablespoons melted butter OR canola oil
1 egg, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast granules
Cinnamon sticks for stalks OR halved pecan nuts
* I used canned pumpkin from Meatland but you could mash your own boiled, sweet potato or butternut or fresh pumpkin.
1: Mix milk/non-dairy milk, pumpkin, butter/oil in a large bowl, then gentle whisk the egg in a separate bowl, measure out half the egg, add this to your mixture and mix well. The remaining egg will be used for your egg wash.
2: Add sugar and salt and yeast and mix then add flour and mix till it's all incorporated.
3: Gently knead with your hands to make a soft dough - it can all be done in an electric mixer but it's not hard work to do it yourself - and then cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
4: Uncover and gently knead till dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add a little extra flour - don't add too much or dinner rolls will be hard - if it's too sticky and add a few spoons of extra milk/non-dairy milk if it is dry. The proportions given should be just right though and it's very easy to work with.
5: Allow dough to stand covered in an oiled bowl for 1 hour till doubled in size then remove from bowl and divide it into balls.
6: Shape into pumpkins as described below then allow to stand another 1/2 hour - I promise it's worth the waiting time - and brush with the reserved egg mixed with a spoon of water.
7: Bake at 180 C for 22 - 25 minutes, press your cinnamon sticks or halved pecans into the center of each to make the pumpkin stalk, and store in an airtight container till ready to serve.
Step By Step Pictorial Instructions
Image 1: Once you've divided your batch of dough into 12 - 15 pieces, bring the corners together as shown.
Image 2: Turn the dough ball over - corners pinched at the back - and you'll see that the front is all nice 'n smooth without needing to roll. Place on your lined baking tray and repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
Image 3: Cut 7 slices into each ball of dough with a sharp knife as shown but keep the center intact.
Image 4: Poke the back of a wooden spoon, chopstick or similar - I used the back of a garlic press - into the middle. This will hold your cinnamon stick which forms the stem of your pumpkin.Bake as described above.