Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter

Happy Halloween!

I cannot believe that we have reached the end of October already! And, now that the days are beginning to get colder and the evenings draw in sooner, I think it is the perfect time to share my new recipe with you. This time, we are making Pumpkin Bread Rolls with Cinnamon Butter. Man, it is a mouthful to say…but I can assure you that they will fill your mouth with deliciousness! Pumpkin is not usually my thing and I do not usually have the patience to bake anything which requires yeast and dough rising (I have had many failed attempts at making cinnamon rolls and hot cross buns!). But, I make this recipe once a year and it really is worth it!

The last Halloween I properly celebrated was with one of the co-Editors of this amazing magazine, Chiara Zucchelli. It is one of the last few memories I have about enjoying myself and feeling free in terms of what I ate before falling into the anorexia trap. When you have an eating disorder, going to social events, especially ones where you know there will be food, is terrifying. You are surrounded by things you want to eat, but your brain tells you not to, and by people who are enjoying themselves freely. You wish you could let go, but your thoughts often get the better of you, especially when you know someone might notice you struggling. So, my memories from that 31st October are some of the most important for me because fighting an eating disorder is only possible if you keep in mind the freedom you want to achieve again. It is the knowledge that you were once free which reminds you that your already have the will-power to recover, because it was that same determination which brought you to developing such cruel, constraining thoughts in the first place.

So, this Halloween, why not try something new and test your determination in making these pumpkin rolls. They require a lot of patience but they are actually both easy and very fun to make! The butter and egg in the rolls make for an enriched dough with a brioche-like texture and the pumpkin adds both a nice moisture and colour to the finished product. And the cinnamon butter, well, there really is no better word to describe it than scrumptious. I really think that the next rainy Sunday afternoon when you are stuck at home studying deserves to be brightened with these delicious rolls of joy!

Difficulty: Medium

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours to rise

Serves: 20 rolls


For the rolls: 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast

240 ml whole milk, lukewarm

50g caster sugar

45g unsalted butter, melted

113g pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

500g plain flour or strong white bread flour

Sliced pecans

For the cinnamon butter: 115g unsalted butter

30g powdered sugar

85g honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. In a bowl, mix together the yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin and salt by hand with the spatula. Then, mix in one egg.

  1. Gradually add in the flour in batches and knead until well incorporated. This step can either be done by hand or in an electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook, on a low-medium speed.

  1. Once the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing to knead it for another 5 minutes until you reach a smooth consistency. If the dough seems too sticky, and one tablespoon at a time of flour – you do not want the dough to be too try though because otherwise the rolls will be chewy.

  1. Transfer dough to a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a tea-towel, then leave to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the middle lightly, then turn onto a lightly-floured work surface and divide into 20 equal-sized balls. Place onto a lined baking sheet and, using a sharp knife, cut into each roll eight times, making sure not to cut all the way into the centre, to make the pumpkin shape. Leave to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour covered by a tea-towel.

  1. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C. Once the dough has doubled in size, poke a pecan sliver into the centre of each roll, making sure to press it all the way down. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush over the tops of the rolls.

  1. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown in colour.

  1. If desired, make the cinnamon butter by whisking the butter, sugar, honey and cinnamon together for 2 minutes until well-combined. Serve immediately over the warm rolls or store in the fridge in an air-tight container. Bring to room temperature before serving again.

Cover image from Domestic Gothess.

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