Pumpkin Rosemary Dinner Rolls

With all the different types of bread recipes I've tried in the last year, I can say that I not only no longer cringe at the thought of tackling dough, but can decide five minutes before I lift Bertha from her spot in my kitchen that fresh bread it will be — and tonight if I want — even if it's the traditional version.  Big Bertha, my Kitchen Aid, definitely helps since I don't have to knead the dough for 10 minutes and couldn't even if I wanted to.  One or both of my arms have been royally screwed up for the last 25 years and when I do too much grasping or clenching, lifting or pruning, I live to regret it.  I used to be able to use Chopin as an excuse, but can't remember the last time I touched my piano keys for more than dusting.  *Sorry Mom.  How much did those lessons cost when you couldn't afford much else?*

My right arm has been singing with agony for two weeks now, thanks to a couple of hours choosing travertine for our home renovations.  How much does one of those 20×20" pieces weigh?  Definitely more than my arms want to deal with.

I'm quite thankful for my Bertha who is about 10 years old.  She's not sleek, but she's more than dependable, and when my arms are healthy, she doesn't mind that I enjoy getting my hands into a lump of silky dough.

The latest dough I experimented with was anything but silky.  It was sticky and not very cooperative, but so worth it.  Let's just say I was a bit more timely in getting the little  not so carved pumpkin off my porch after Halloween to bake and puree this year to create Pumpkin Rosemary Dinner Rolls.

Talk about pillowey bread-like wonderfulness?


Pumpkin Rosemary Dinner Rolls

2-1.2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/3 c. sugar
3/4 c. whole milk, lukewarm
7-8 c. bread flour
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 lg. egg
2 c. fresh pumpkin puree




Proof the yeast by combining 1 tsp. of the sugar with the yeast in the milk until it looks bubbly.  In the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment, add 7 c. of flour, nutmeg, salt and sugar.  Add the olive oil slowly and mix until coarse curds form.  Add the egg, pumpkin puree, and yeast/milk mixture, stirring until well combined.  Switch to the dough hook attachment.

With the machine running on low, add as much of the remaining 1 cup of flour 1 T at a time, increasing to medium, watching to see the dough leave the side of the pan and become less sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured workspace and knead until smooth and elastic.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, making sure to oil the surface of the dough as well.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured workspace and pat down into a puffy disc.  Using a bench scraper, cup dough into 16 pieces, forming as many into balls as will fit into a lightly greased 12-in springform pan.  Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Make an egg wash of 1 egg + 1 T of water, mix well, and brush lightly over the rolls.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool in the pan on a baking rack before removing the side of the pan.  Serve the rolls as baked, or separated with butter and honey.




  • To prepare fresh pumpkin, slice fresh pumpkin in half, scrape seeds and fiber from the interior and position cut side down on a parchment lined baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour.  Let cool completely before removing skin and pureeing pumpkin in a blender or food processor.  My pumpkin produced 4 c. of puree & I froze 2 for later use — hopefully in the next week or so instead of next year!
  • The rosemary is barely discernible in this, so I'd increase it by half next time.  If you don't care for rosemary, try thyme, or another herb you enjoy, or leave it out completely. 
  • The bread is more sweet than salty, but is really neither.  It's perfect to butter and enjoy with dinner, or drizzle honey on with coffee or tea.
  • You can substitute butter for the olive oil, but why would you?  Olive oil is good for your heart.  Butter isn't.
  • The dough is very sticky.  I added 8 T of additional flour before forming a ball to let rise.
  • These rolls are enormous, so you might want to consider making even smaller balls and adding them to another springform pan.
  • The finished crumb is light, fluffy, and very springy!  Gorgeous rolls.
  • There was enough dough pieces left to form a braid and bake that as well.  Wait until you see what's coming with that.
  • All in all, an amazing recipe when you consider I used a pumpkin sitting on my porch and a few other ingredients.  Very rewarding.