Bread is usually an afterthought on the Thanksgiving table, but these buttery pumpkin-enriched goodies will take center stage. If you simply shape the rolls into rounds, they’ll taste delicious. But roll the dough into six tiny balls in each muffin cup, and once they rise, you get adorable pumpkin-shaped rolls. Brush them with a little melted butter the minute they emerge from the oven and they’ll be soft and shiny.
|1/4 cup warm water||1/2 cup milk|
|3 tablespoons light brown sugar||1 egg|
|1 envelope (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast||1 teaspoon salt|
|1/2 cup pumpkin puree||4 cups all-purpose flour|
|1/2 cup butter, melted|
In a small bowl, mix the water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy.
Pour the yeast and water into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the pumpkin puree, butter, milk, egg and salt, and blend. Add the flour, one cup at a time, to make a soft dough. (You can also do this in a bowl with a spoon.)
Run the mixer on low for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic (or knead it on a floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes). Put it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a draft-free place for an hour, until doubled in size.
Lightly butter 24 muffin tins. Divide the dough into 24 pieces and then, one roll at a time, roll each piece into six even-sized balls and arrange them in a circle in each muffin cup, leaving a little space in the middle of the balls. (This is a great job for kids to do. If it’s too much fuss, make 24 round rolls and lay them out on two buttered baking sheets.)
Cover the rolls with a piece of plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm right away, or reheat the next day, wrapped in foil, in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
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