Adding squash or pumpkin to a dinner roll produces a bread that is soft, slightly sweet and wonderfully rich. It also helps keep the rolls moist, making it easier to bake them ahead without worrying they will dry out.
This recipe uses canned pumpkin for ease and pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) for a nutty-toasty crunch. Canned squash also could be used.
These rolls are just as delicious served at room temperature, but if you'd like to reheat them, cover the pan with foil and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.
Double Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Start to finish: 3 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
Makes 24 rolls
1 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon instant or quick-rise yeast
2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup pepitas, toasted
4 tablespoons melted butter
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, butter, yeast, salt and flour. Mix on low speed until combined, then increase to speed to medium-low and mix for 5 minutes to knead. The dough should be soft, but pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
Add the pepitas and mix until incorporated throughout the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Coat two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in two. Divide each of the halves into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Arrange 12 balls in each cake pan (they can touch), then cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until puffy.
After the rolls have risen for 30 minutes, heat the oven to 350 F.
When the rolls have finished rising, brush their tops with half of the melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. After removing them from the oven, brush with the remaining butter. Allow to cool in the pan.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 214 calories; 70 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 24 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 2 g fiber; 193 mg sodium.