I just couldn't let this Autumn pass without making something out of the pumpkin. There was no chance of a pumpkin pie, no matter how small as I will be the only one eating it and a pumpkin bread cake doesn't seem so appealing either! The next best thing would be something breadlike, tastes sweet and with other ingredients added. I took the idea of the cinnamon roll and made these rolls in an angel pan, with high anticipation that they will turn out a stripe and swirl pattern with 2 color toned bread dough but resulted very pale and subtle instead! With some more pecans and dried cranberries left, I just mixed them up with light brown sugar and rolled them up tight with 2 layers of different colored bread dough. The addition of the pumpkin puree to the bread dough makes it very wet and although I used 2 eggs in this recipe, I think 1 should be enough taking into account the liquid in the pumpkin puree.
It has been a long time since I made bread or buns and I kind of forgotten on how the dough texture should feel in the hands. A good bread dough should always feel heavy, elastic and not dry and the resting and rising period is very important to ensure a good texture of the bread. These buns are more dense due to the added pumpkin and the outer layer is crusty. As I didn't soak them in heavy amount of Maple syrup, they don't look gooey but it is better that way so that my kids don't get all sticky with their fingers. My effort to create the plain and pumpkin swirls failed but the 2 tones are visible as soon as you tear open one. Like all sweet rolls, this pumpkin one is best when served straight out of the oven or warm. After overnight, the bread kind of stale and a quick warm up in the oven will bring them back to its original state. And drizzle the maple syrup as soon as possible when it is still hot!
3-1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
10 oz pumpkin (yields 3/4 cup puree)
Extra 1 cup all purpose flour
4 oz (1/2 cup or 1 stick butter), cold and malleable
1)Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and let it stand at room temperature.
2)Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon together.
3)Rub in the butter till coarse crumbs or use the paddle attachment in the mixer and mix for 1 minute on medium speed.
4)Beat the egg lightly and mix into the flour mixture using a spatula or the mixer. Don't overmix at this stage.
5)The dough will appear in a rough mass. Divide into 2 equal amounts and remove half to a floured countertop and knead with your hands, sprinkling flour as you go till the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Knead for 2 minutes, shape into a ball and place in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and let the dough rest and rise for 1 hour and 30 mins.
6)Turn on the paddle beater for the remaining dough. Slowly add in the pumpkin puree in 3 batches, mixing and incorporating well. Do not over mix.
7)Starting with 1/4 cup, slowly fold in the extra flour till the batter comes together to form a dough. The dough will be sticky and heavy.
8)Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead with hands for 3 to 5 mins, adding flour as you go till you get a heavy and elastic dough. Sprinkle flour on the bottom and sides of a clean bowl and shape the dough into a ball and let it rest and rise inside the bowl, covered with cling film for 1 hour & 30 mins.
Sweet Fillings :
1 cup Pecan, toasted and processed to small bits
1/2 cup dried cranberry
4 tbsp light brown sugar
Method: Mix all ingredients together and leave aside till the dough is ready.
1)Roll out the 2 dough separately to a large rectangle.
2)Layer the pumpkin dough on top of the plain dough.
3)Sprinkle the filling onto the dough to cover the whole surface.
4)Starting from the edge nearer to you, slowly roll up the dough all the way and tuck the seam underneath.
5)Using a knife, mark about 2 inches line apart on the roll and cut to equal size pieces, which should yield 10 to 12 pieces.
6)If you like crusty crust, flour the angel pan or large rectangle pan or round pan and tap out excess. If not, grease the pan with butter only. Place the cut out rolls, with the cut side down into the pan and arrange them sitting next to each other. Cover with cling film and let them rest and rise for another 30 mins.
7)Preheat the oven to 350F, bake the rolls on the bottom rack for 35 mins. Remove from the oven and drizzle with maple syrup when they are still warm.