Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Rolls


Yep.  That's right.  Pumpkin dinner rolls.  One pan sweet (only slightly) and the other pan savory.  Does it get better than that?

So these are headed to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  And to keep myself from eating a whole bunch and showing up with pans missing many rolls I put them in the freezer.  But I have been thinking about them since Sunday.  And when ever I pull open the freezer I see the two packages wrapped in foil and I can wait to eat them!  Last night I actually considered busting a package open and warming a couple of rolls up in the oven, then I thought of the looks I would get turning up with what was once clearly a round pan full of rolls with gaps.  So I left them where they were.  Lucky for the rolls.

I came across this recipe by accident and because I love pumpkin I thought I would give them a try.  The original recipe was for giant rolls made in a spring form pan.  I can only imaging how huge they would be.  Hamburger bun size.  And while that would be wonderful for making leftover turkey sandwiches on it isn't really the best when you want to sample all of the great flavors available on Thanksgiving.  If you have time to get out today, and you aren't in the middle of a snow storm, and you have the time to make these I would highly recommend them.  And everyone at your Thanksgiving table tomorrow will thank you.

So here we go.  Patience is the name of the game.

Adapted from Gourmet October 1991

1/4 oz. package active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar 
3/4 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
1 tsp salt 
1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small bits 
1 large whole egg, beaten lightly
16 oz can pumpkin puree
an egg wash made by beating 1 large egg yolk with 1 Tbls water
2 Tbls Saigon cinnamon
2 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls. dried rosemary

In a small bowl proof the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the milk for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy. In a large bowl combine well 7 cups of the flour, the nutmeg, the salt, and the remaining sugar and blend in the butter by hand until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the whole egg, the pumpkin puree, and the yeast mixture and stir the dough until it is combined well.  I found that I wasn't able to get everything compleatly combinded so I just used what was left in my bowl to add to the ball of dough as I was kneading it and I didn't need that extra cup of flour.  But have it on hand for the next step because no one wants to put a doughy hand into the flour container.  It isn't pretty!
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, incorporating as much of the remaining 1 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.  Yah I know, 10 minutes is a long time, but it is so worth it!  Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a well-oiled large bowl, and turn it to coat it with the oil.  I used canola oil because I didn't want to add the flavor of olive oil since I knew I wanted to make one pan with cinnamon sugar.  If you were going to make all savory rolls than by all means go ahead and use olive oil, it would taste great with the rosemary.
Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it is double in bulk. 
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into 24 pieces, and form each piece into a ball. Fit the balls into 2 buttered 9 or 10 inch cake pans and let them rise, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until they are almost double in bulk. 
Brush the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle one pan with the cinnamon and sugar and the other with the crushed dried rosemary bake them in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let the rolls cool slightly in the pan, turn out onto your work surface and break apart to serve.  Warm rolls are the best!  The rolls may be made 1 week in advance and kept wrapped well and frozen. Just make sure to let them cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping them.  I wrapped the rolls in plastic wrap first and then in foil before I put them in the freezer.  Reheat the rolls, wrapped in foil - get rid of the plastic wrap and re-wrap in foil,  in a preheated 350°F. oven for 25 minutes, or until they are heated through.

I think this dough could be used for many things.  Cinnamon swirl bread and sticky buns come to mind.  Yumm.  Enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!

* So I did have to sample one.  One missing roll I can explain!

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