Pumpkin Bread Rolls
These pumpkin-shaped pumpkin bread rolls are great for a Halloween dinner and perfect for your Thanksgiving spread.
Makes: 10 rolls
Ingredients
  • 250 g (8 oz) fresh pumpkin or 200 g (7 oz) pumpkin purée
  • 450 g (1 lb) strong white flour
  • 100 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g (1 oz) sugar
  • 25 g (1 oz) melted butter
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Melted butter for the final glaze
  • 10 tomato stalks (for example)
Instructions
If using fresh pumpkin...
  1. Scoop out the seeds and fibrous material. Peel the remaining flesh and cut into large chunks.
  2. Put the pumpkin in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
  3. Drain and mash well. Leave to cool before using.
If using canned pumpkin purée...
  1. Open the can.
Moving on...
  1. Add the yeast and sugar to the water. Mix to dissolve the sugar then leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. Break one egg into a small bowl. Separate the other egg into white and yolk and add the yolk to the first egg. Add 4 tbsp of water to the egg white and beat well to make an egg wash. Beat together the egg and egg yolk.
  3. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the egg+egg yolk, the melted butter, the yeast/water mix and 200 g of pumpkin purée. Mix well to a soft, slightly tacky dough.
  5. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  6. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for the dough to double in size.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knock it back. Split the dough into 10 equal portions.
  8. Take a piece of dough and knead it briefly in your hands. Form into a smooth ball.
  9. Flatten the dough slightly on a floured surface. Make 8 cuts into the dough from top to bottom starting a small distance away from the centre of the ball. The end result should be an 8-petalled flower shape.
  10. Dip your little-finger in flour and press it deeply into the centre of the dough to create a dimple. Carefully lift the dough and place on a well-floured baking sheet.
  11. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Leave space on the baking sheet between the pieces of dough to allow the rolls to rise.
  12. Place the baking sheet in a large plastic bag and leave the rolls to prove for 30-40 minutes.
  13. Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake at 175°/350°F fan oven, 190°C/375°F conventional oven for 12-15 minutes.
  14. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  15. When cool, brush the rolls with a little melted butter to give them a satin finish.
  16. For the pumpkin stalks I use tomato stalks with the spikey bits cut off. You could use wooden skewers coloured with food colouring or anything else you can think of!
Notes
The dough should be slightly tacky when mixed. If your initial dough is too sticky you should knead in some extra flour. If it's too dry add another tbsp of pumpkin purée.