Last week, I texted Ben randomly during the day at work and asked if he wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner a little bit early. As I expected, he was ALL in. So this weekend, we got to cookin’, and had ourselves a delicious feast on Sunday afternoon. Turkey, chipotle-cilantro mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables mornay, pumpkin cloverleaf rolls, and harvest pear crisp with candied ginger. It was GLORIOUS! For my dream meal I would have had stuffing too–but Ben doesn’t like it, and I couldn’t find the kind of bread I wanted, so that didn’t happen, but everything else was divine and I can’t wait to share the recipes with you this week! So, I officially declare this to be THANKSGIVING WEEK on the blog and I will do my absolute best to post all five new recipes this week. I’ve already shared my cranberry sauce before so I won’t repeat that… but just because it is old doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying!
I had a hard time deciding what to share first, so I just picked my absolute favorite thing… bread. Ahh, delicious carbs! With pumpkin too! Doubly good, huh? I seriously am not sure if there is anything I could love more than soft, pillowy rolls, warm out of the oven with just a touch of butter.
I made the dough for these rolls in my bread maker. If you don’t have a bread maker, definitely consider investing in one if you have the space. I bought mine from a Craigslist post for $20. It was a wedding gift that had never been used, so that couple’s loss was our gain! I am not a huge fan of how bread bakes in it, but it is super convenient for preparing dough while you are doing other things, like pulling together a huge meal for two people just for the heck of it.
Please don’t judge how these Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls were shaped. It takes a time or two [or four] to get the hang of shaping the balls, and I will warn you–the dough is really sticky, so use flour and/or cooking spray liberally. I read too late that cooking spray is better for shaping rolls than flour is because it won’t dry the dough out… so I will try that next time. Regardless of how the rolls are shaped, the taste will be out of this world!
The rolls are slightly sweet, with a delightful orange flavor. The flavor is really strong at first, but after a day it tones down a bit. But if orange isn’t your thing, feel free to leave that out and add a little bit of warm spice like cinnamon or nutmeg, some vanilla, or even something a little more savory like garlic powder.
Ben and I absolutely adored these rolls! I’m sure you didn’t need clarification on that, but for what it’s worth–they were great! I can’t wait to enjoy one for breakfast with some jam. Yum! As much as I would love to say that they were so amazing because they included pumpkin [aka my favorite thing about fall], I really don’t think that was it. They are just super soft, melt-in-your-mouth rolls. Even if you are scared of baking with yeast, try these rolls! In a bread maker, they are so simple and easy–almost foolproof. Since the dough is so sticky, I think it would be hard to knead this dough by hand, but you could try it in a stand mixer–just use these tips on converting the recipe. I hope you give these rolls a try for your Thanksgiving table! They’re so appropriate for the season. I know they will be my go-to for many years to come! Enjoy, and be sure to come back all week long for more Thanksgiving recipes.
Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls [from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger]
click to print
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons salt
- zest of 1 orange
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [562 grams]
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast [1 package]
Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. For me, it is: liquids and salt, dry ingredients, and yeast in a well.
Set bread machine on dough cycle. Grease two muffin tins with cooking spray.
When finished, turn dough out onto a floured surface. With floured hands, divide dough in half, then divide each piece in half again. You should have four pieces. Then divide each of those pieces in half again–making eight. Finally, divide in half again so you have 16 pieces.
Roll each piece into three equal sized balls. Gently place in a muffin cup, and repeat with remaining dough.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and then bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Time: 2 1/2 hours.
Yield: 16 rolls.
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