I’ve been making these rolls for probably 30 years or more. I don’t really recall the origin of the recipe – just that it came about one Thanksgiving, lo these many years ago – and has been a holiday staple ever since.

My best guess is that they came from a magazine like Bon Appetit or Gourmet, but I haven’t been able to find a similar recipe doing a web search… They’re extremely easy and really good.  I use the food processor to blend the butter and 2 cups of flour together and then add it to the rest of the flour.

For this batch, I switched things up a bit… I went from 3/4 cup butter to 1 cup, and 1 egg to 2. I also used 3 cups bread flour and 4 cups all-purpose. And I cut the nutmeg to 1/2 teaspoon and added a half-teaspoon of mace.


Pumpkin Rolls

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • egg wash made by beating 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water

In a mixing bowl proof the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the milk for 5 minutes.  Combine 6 cups of the flour, nutmeg, salt, and the remaining sugar and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the eggs, the pumpkin puree, and the yeast mixture and mix until it is combined well.

Using a dough hook, knead — adding as much of the remaining 1 cup flour as necessary — for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a well-buttered large bowl, and turn it to coat it with the butter. Let the dough rise, covered in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it is doubled.

Turn the dough out onto your counter, divide it into 24 pieces, and form each piece into a ball. Place the balls onto a buttered sheet pan and let rise, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until they are almost double in size.

Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them in the middle of a preheated 350° oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until they are golden brown.

I think this will be the new go-to version, although I think I’ll go all bread flour, next time just to see how they come out.

In any event, they’re easy to make – and make great sandwich rolls!

I may have to make these a bit more often…