Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

 When you think about pumpkin, what comes to mind?

Pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin spiced lattes?

Most likely something sweet, and dessert affiliated, right? This year, I’m trying to think outside the pumpkin-box. I’m thinking savory, pumpkin dinner rolls, and pumpkin-spiced lip gloss!

Pumpkin is generally a tricky, picky, squash. Unlike other members of its family, like acorn, spaghetti and butternut, when pumpkin is baked, it basically turns to wet, mush – a not-so-appealing trait that one would like to see next to their turkey and stuffing. On top of texture, it also lacks in the flavor department, where it’s relatives excel, which is probably why it’s usually accompanied with a heavy dose of spices – cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and clove, a.k.a., “pumpkin spice.”

Now before you go ahead and think I’m some kind of pumpkin-hater, I’ll let you know that I’m not! I love pumpkin – it can actually be quite versatile, and is very nutrient dense! Consuming one cup of cooked pumpkin will provide you with over 200% of your daily value for vitamin A, 19% of vitamin C, more than 10% of vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper and manganese, and at least 5% for thiamin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus (source). Not too bad!

Light, Fluffy, Perfectly Moist, Chewy, and Fragrant with Pumpkin Spice

A new, welcome side at our Thanksgiving meal (which we had a couple weeks ago here in Canada ;)) were 100% whole wheat pumpkin dinner rolls (my husband, who sits down with several pieces of bread and butter, at almost every meal, couldn’t be happier).

These whole wheat pumpkin dinner rolls are light, fluffy, perfectly moist, chewy, and fragrant with pumpkin spice. Accompanied with a side of honey butter, and there’s no doubt that your family will happily welcome them to the table, too.

How to Make 100% Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

First things first – pull your butter and eggs out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. You can go ahead and do this the night before if you like.

Next, combine 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast with 1/2 cup of warm, tap water. Stir until the yeast dissolves and set aside.

In your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together a 1/2 cup of room temperature, unsalted butter and a 1/4 cup of honey (I always buy raw honey from a local source – check your local, farmer’s market!).

Next, add three room temperature eggs, 1/2 cup of organic, pumpkin puree (learn how to make your own here), and 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice and beat together, making sure to scrape down the sides.

Add 3/4 cup of warm, whole milk and the yeast mixture and beat, once again.

Next, switch to the dough hook attachment and add 5 cups of whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. King Arthur Flour is a great option if you’re wondering what brand of flour to buy, as it’s GMO-free and more nutrients dense then most other brands.

The dough shouldn’t stick to your finger when you poke it. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time. I like to dump the dough out on to a floured surfaced and knead it by hand in order to get the consistency just right.

Place the dough back into the bowl if you’ve dumped it out to knead it, cover it with a tea towel, and set it aside for an hour so that it can rise. After an hour, the dough should have almost doubled in size. Dump it out on to a floured surface, knead it several times to remove excess air, cover, and let it rest for another 5 minutes to give the gluten a chance to relax.

While your dough is relaxing, you still have some work to do! Ideally, you’ll want to pull out your 13×9 inch glass baking pan and generously grease the bottom and sides with butter. But, if you’re like me, and you’ve just moved into your new house two days earlier, still have half of your kitchen supplies in storage, and your new neighbors are away, then you have to get creative. I settled with a 10×10 silicone baking pan and a Pyrex bread pan…

Next, flatten the ball out into a rectangle using your hands and cut it into 24 pieces (4 slices length wise, and 6 slices across). You may have to move some dough around because the middle pieces are bigger then the sides and corners.

Now it’s time to shape your rolls! To do this, grab a piece, push up through the middle, tuck the corners and sides under, and pinch the bottom together. This will give the roll a nice, smooth top!

Place your dough-balls evenly in your greased pan, with the seam side down, cover and let sit for another hour. BUT, in 45 min you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350, so you may want to set a timer for yourself right about now.

In an hour, all sides should be touching and your almost-rolls should be perfectly plump. Place them in your preheated oven on a center rack, and bake for 25 minutes. Again, set yourself a timer – you don’t want to slip up now!

While they’re baking, go ahead and melt 2 tablespoons of salted butter and 1 teaspoon of honey together to make your honey butter. Once the rolls have finished baking, remove them from the oven and immediately brush on the honey butter! Although this step is optional, you’ll be SO glad that you listened to me.

Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes, before flipping on to a clean, tea towel and pulling apart – this is the fun part! Now stand back, smile, and feel proud of your accomplishment!

Your house probably smells amazing, and you’ve created a savory, pumpkin side to go with your Thanksgiving dinner!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
 
Author:
Serves: approx 24 rolls
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree, organic (or make your own)
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin spice (2 tsp cinnamon + ¼ tsp of each, nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice)
  • ¾ cup whole milk, warm
  • 5 cups whole wheat flour, organic
  • 1½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Combine active dry yeast with warm water and stir until yeast dissolves. Set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and honey.
  3. Add eggs, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Beat together, making sure to scrape down the sides.
  4. Add milk and yeast mixture and beat, once again.
  5. Switch to the dough hook attachment and add salt and flour, one cup at a time. The dough shouldn't stick to your finger when you poke it. If it seems too sticky, add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time - feel free to dump the dough out on to a floured surfaced and knead it by hand in order to get the consistency just right.
  6. Cover the dough with a tea towel and set aside for 1 hour - it should almost double in size during this time.
  7. After an hour, dump the dough out on to a floured surface, knead several times to remove excess air, cover, and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
  8. Generously grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with butter (bottom and sides) and set aside.
  9. Next, flatten the dough into a rectangle, using your hands, and cut into 24 pieces (4 slices length wise, and 6 slices across), as evenly as you can.
  10. Shape your rolls by pushing each piece up through the middle, tucking the corners and sides under, and pinching the bottom together.
  11. Place your dough-balls evenly spaced in the greased, pan, with the seam side down. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another hour. * In 45 min you'll want to preheat your oven to 350, so you may want to set a timer.
  12. Place the rolls in to your preheated oven on a center rack, and bake for 25 minutes.
  13. Optional but recommended: melt 2 tbsp of salted butter and 1 tsp of honey together to make a honey-butter. Once the rolls have finished baking, remove from the oven and immediately brush on the honey butter.
  14. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes before pulling apart.

These whole wheat pumpkin dinner rolls are light, fluffy, perfectly moist, chewy, and fragrant with pumpkin spice. Add the honey butter and your family will love them!

 

 

 

Carly is passionate about the environment, sustainable living, and cooking healthy (yet delicious!) meals for her family. She’s a proud “modern hippie housewife,” momma to one goofy toddler, Scarlett, and expecting her second little-one January, 2016!

Her hobbies include traveling, fermenting food and beverages, cooking from-scratch, gardening, dancing, DIY-ing almost everything, and relaxing after a long day by tuning in to whatever Netflix show she’s currently addicted to, with her husband.

You can follow Carly’s journey over at ModernHippieHousewife.com, where she shares how easy it can be to live a cleaner, greener life.

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About

Aside from being a wannabe backyard homesteader who wrangles chickens and free-range kids, Loriel is the owner/creator of the professional natural lifestyle blog Naturally Loriel, owner of the organic spice blend business Naturally Free, and freelance professional food photographer.


'Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls' has 1 comment

  1. November 18, 2016 @ 1:45 pm Melissa

    Would it work to bake these a or two before and then pop them in the oven to warm up on thanksgiving?

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