Pumpkin Bread and Rolls

Pumpkin Rolls
Pumpkin Rolls


Here’s a fun way to enjoy all the roots and gourds just coming into season. Yes, I know it says ‘pumpkin’, but you can use butternut squash, sweet potato, swede & carrot, or a mixture of every/anything you have to hand.

The recipe itself is a basic vegetable bread recipe, where the flour, yeast and salt are mixed with cooked, pureed vegetable which lightly colours the dough, and then you can choose which method of presentation you want to use with the resultant dough. I’ve got to be honest, both of them can be a little Faffy™, but not difficult, and well worth it for the striking appearance. The dough is enriched with a little butter and milk, to make beautifully pillowy soft rolls/bread.

Pumpkin Bread Dough

180g pumpkin puree[1]
30g butter, melted in 100ml milk & cooled to body temp.
350g strong white flour
1tsp salt
1tbs caster sugar
1 sachet fast-action yeast

  • Add the above ingredients, in the above order, to the bowl of a stand mixer (or regular bowl).
  • Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook on low for 10 minutes and finish with 2 minutes on high-speed to really develop the elasticity.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside to rise. Depending on the temperature of the room, this may take up to 2 hours.

Once your dough has risen, you need to decide whether to make it into rolls (as above), or one large loaf (as below).

Small Pumpkin Rolls

To make the pumpkin shape, we’re going to tie string around each ball of dough, after most of the second rise. The oven spring will provide the necessary lift to the rolls to allow the dough to form the pumpkin shape without causing the string to cut too deeply.

You will need:

  • String: I used two-tone Butcher’s twine, but to be honest, it’s narrowness was a bit problematic in that it tended to cut into the dough. Better if you can use regular, slightly thicker, household string.
  • 2 large yolks, mixed with 1tbs water, for glazing.

  • Cut 48 pieces of string (I did say it was a bit of a faff), 20cm in length. It is much better to have to cut off excess string after tying than to have to break out the tweezers to try and tie a knot with only 1.5cm
  • Divide your dough into 12 even pieces – or uneven, if you like, to give a range of sizes and shape into balls.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • For each ball of dough:
    • Lay out 4 pieces of string on the parchment paper like this:
      • Lay the ball of dough onto the middle of the strings.
    • When all the balls of dough have been placed, set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
    • After 30 minutes rising, turn the oven to 190°C, 170°C Fan.
    • Lightly tie the strings over the top of each ball of dough, to create the ‘segments’ of each pumpkin. NB DO NOT tie them too tightly, or the string might cut into the dough. This is also what happens if you tie the strings before the rise – they rise so much by the time the buns are baked, the string has practically disappeared inside the bun.
    • Whisk the yolks and water together and brush the glaze over the buns with a pastry brush. Try to stay away from the string and only brush the dough, as the glaze will ‘glue’ the string to the dough during baking and make removal difficult.
    • Bake for 15 minutes until puffed and golden.
    • Cut the knots in the strings and gently peel away whilst the buns are warm. Work slowly, to avoid tearing.
    • Transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool.

    Large Pumpkin Loaf

    You will need:

    • Pumpkin seeds for decoration.
    • 2 large yolks, mixed with 1tbs water, for glazing.

    • Divide your risen dough into the following pieces: 1 x 150g 1 x 50g, the remainder into 8 pieces.
    • Line a baking sheet with parchment. Arrange the dough on the baking sheet as follows.
    • If liked, you can slip a greased springform pan (minus the base) around your loaf to help keep it’s shape as it rises/bakes, but it does make glazing/decorating a bit challenging.
    • Set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
    • After 30 minutes rising, turn the oven to 190°C, 170°C Fan.
    • Whisk the yolks and water together and brush the glaze over the loaf with a pastry brush.
    • Arrange the pumpkin seeds on each triangle of dough as in the picture above.
    • Bake for 40-50 minutes until puffed and golden.
    • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    [1] To make your own puree, buy a pumpkin, cut it in half, scoop out all the seeds/strings and put into the oven, cut side up, on either a silicon mat or parchment paper. Turn the heat to 200C, 180C Fan and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool and then scrape the flesh from the skin and into a food processor. Blend smooth.

    One Comment on “Pumpkin Bread and Rolls”

    1. This is a very fantastic shape of bread. I hope this bread is delicious. I try at home. Thank you for the post.

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