A simple and easy recipe for soft, light, and fluffy pumpkin dinner rolls with homemade pumpkin purée. Make ahead or bake immediately. You’ll need just a handful of ingredients!
- 1 pound butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 g) instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon (4 g) fine salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) melted butter
- 3 ¼ cups (420 g) bread flour (all-purpose flour works too)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out the seeds and the stringy pulp. Peel and chop pumpkin into 1-1.5 inch (or 2-3 cm) pieces.
- Add enough water to cover the bottom of a large saucepan by 1-inch (2-3 cm). Add chopped pumpkin into the saucepan and cook covered over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can steam the pumpkin until soft using a steamer basket.
- Drain pumpkin and blend until smooth using a food processor or hand blender. Let cool slightly.
- Combine 2 tablespoons (30 g) water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl. Briefly stir.
- Stir in 1 ¼ cups (300 g) pumpkin purée, salt, and melted butter.
- Add half of the flour to the bowl and mix until combined, then add the rest of the flour. Mix and knead (knead by hand, or use a stand mixer with a dough hook) to make a soft and smooth dough that is slightly sticky, about 5-10 minutes. Depending on the pumpkin purées water content, the dough consistency can vary. If the dough is too tacky and impossible to knead by hand, add a bit additional flour. When kneading the dough (by hand or machine) the dough should be forming a ball and clearing the sides of the bowl towards the end of the kneading time. It should be soft and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, and let it rise at warm room temperature until doubled (or almost doubled) in volume, about 1 hour.
- In the meantime, butter a 10-inch (26 cm) springform pan or round cake pan or line with parchment paper. Alternatively, use a 9-inch square pan.
- Transfer the dough to an unfloured or only slightly floured work surface and divide into 15 equal pieces (16 if using the square pan). Shape each piece into a smooth ball and space the rolls in the pan. [For make-ahead option, put in the fridge now, see note.]
- Cover the pan with a towel, and allow the rolls to rise at warm room temperature until puffy, about 1/2 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
- For the egg-wash, mix egg yolk and milk in a small bowl and gently brush the rolls. Bake them on the center rack until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy!