I found this recipe years ago when we lived in North Dakota. We used to invite our North Dakota neighbors over for a potluck soup Christmas party and I'd make these rolls. Except North Dakotans don't eat rolls—they eat buns. When we moved away, the neighbors said, "Now who's going to have the Christmas party and make the Pumpkin Buns?" I've been making them every holiday season since. I usually double the recipe and make it in my Bosch, skipping the first rise. And for all of you who tasted the batch pictured above at the cooking class, they were made with a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour--half of each.
- 2 T. instant dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/3 cup butter, softened (I use canola oil)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole-wheat these days)
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 egg
- Sesame or poppy seeds, optional
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, sugar, pumpkin, 2 eggs, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into 12 balls. Roll each ball into a 10-in. rope; tie into a knot and tuck ends under. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, beat water and 1 egg. Brush over rolls. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 350° for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.