Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls

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! :)

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

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.

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

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.

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

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!

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls | thepajamachef.com

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.

Thanksgiving Meal | thepajamachef.com

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. :)

one year ago: Pork, Apple, & Ginger Stir Fry
two years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bars
three years ago: Balsamic Roasted Chickpeas

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls [from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 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]

Directions:

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.

Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.

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Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

So, I don’t use my breadmaker nearly enough. Maybe because it’s a bit clunky, maybe because I’m a little too lazy to pull everything out of the cabinet to get it out. But I really should use it more. Especially when it makes delicious treats like these, at a fraction of the effort as regular from-scratch cinnamon rolls take!

Well, I suppose to be perfectly honest, these babies don’t come out of the breadmaker perfectly formed or anything, so there is still some work to be done… but really not much at all. These cinnamon rolls are perfectly sweet, perfectly gooey, and have just the right ratio of filling to icing to satisfy even the toughest critic. An unexpected burst of Maple syrup in the icing takes these cinnamon rolls one step further from amazing to incredible. Or is it incredible to extraordinary? Or wonderful to fantastic? No matter how you put it… these are worth pulling out the ‘ole breadmaker for. If you don’t think two people can polish these off… think again. You can do it! :)

Can ‘o cinnamon rolls, you don’t got nothing on these!

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls [from Faithful Provisions, icing from Taste of Home]
click to print

Ingredients:

for the dough

  • 1 1/8 cup warm milk [microwave for 30 seconds]
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg, plus 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

for the filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

for the icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Put dough ingredients in breadmaker according to the manufacturer’s directions [for mine this is liquids and salt, dry, yeast], and run on dough cycle.

Remove dough from breadmaker when cycle is complete, then preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two round cake pans or pie dishes and set aside.

Roll dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 12×24 inches.

Brush with melted butter, then cover evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon. Be sure to leave about a 1-inch gap around the edges; otherwise filling will spill out when you roll.

Roll up dough lengthwise, then cut in half. Continue cutting each piece in half until you have 16 pieces total. Place in prepared pans.

At this point, you have three options:

  1. Refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning, following steps below [bring to room temperature 30 minutes or so before baking].
  2. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes [I find this is necessary in colder temperatures].
  3. Bake and enjoy now!

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While baking, mix together icing. Whisk together powdered sugar with maple syrup and butter, then add enough milk to reach spreading consistency. Ice cinnamon rolls immediately after coming out of the oven, serve, and enjoy!

SRC: Honey Whole Wheat English? Muffins

Happy Monday!

I’m especially excited about today because it’s my first time participating in The Secret Recipe Club.

Secret Recipe Club

I first heard about The Secret Recipe Club from Lindsay’s blog and I was instantly hooked on the idea. The premise is this: you’re assigned a different member’s blog every month. You visit their blog, choose any recipe you want, then make it and share it on your blog. It’s a fun way to find new blogs and be stretched to try new recipes, cooking styles, etc. Then, everyone posts about their assigned blog on the same day.

For November, I was assigned Anne’s blog–Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy. The premise of her blog is simple and straightforward, and I quote directly from her homepage:

* QUICK – because who has time for anything more?
* EASY – because I’m no gourmet.
* CHEAP – because who has money for anything more?
* HEALTHY – because you are what you eat.

Sounds good to me! After checking out many of the amazing looking recipes and tasty treats that Anne regularly posts [frequently part of fun series like Better than the Box or Twelve Treats of Christmas], I decided to tackle a food that I love but have never been daring enough to make on my own: English Muffins. Or, to be more specific: Honey Whole Wheat English? Muffins. The question mark after the “English” is indicative of the fact that there isn’t complete certainty over the geographic heritage of these doughy, crisp breakfast treats. Nevertheless, I can say with complete certainty that these are delicious. Unlike some whole wheat breads, these are not at all dense, but just the right balance of doughy and substantive. I love the touch of sweetness that the honey adds too.

english muffins from scratch

So when grading by Anne’s four point scale, I must say that these English muffins are definitely quick [thanks to my dear pal Mr. Breadmaker], easy [can you say everyday ingredients + minimal appliances/tools?], cheap [again: read, everyday ingredients + minimal appliances/tools... just like any 'ole bread] and healthy [I can pronounce everything... no mystery ingredients or fillers here]. These will definitely be making more appearances on our breakfast table in the future. Thanks, Anne!

english muffins from scratch

with some delicious pumpkin butter!

Honey Whole Wheat English Muffins [from Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy]
printable version

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast [I used breadmaker yeast]
  • cornmeal

Directions:

Place all the ingredients [minus the cornmeal] in the pan of your breadmaker in the order shown above, or as correlates to your breadmaker’s instructions. For mine, it is liquids and salt, dry ingredients, and then make a well for the yeast. Basically, the game plan is to just keep your yeast from mixing with the liquids too soon. Set for the “dough” cycle and when it’s ready, remove dough and place on countertop or work surface that has been covered with cornmeal. Covered! Press into a large rectangle, about 1/2-1 inch thick, then use a glass or biscuit cutter to cut out large circles of dough. Place on cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise for 30-60 minutes. Cook the muffins on an ungreased griddle set over low-medium heat for about 8-9 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Split with a fork and serve with butter and jam. Or as we did for dinner, eggs, bacon, Cheddar, and avocado. Store in an airtight container.

Note:

I recommend making sure your griddle is piping hot before you start cooking them. Also, if your kitchen is on the cold side, allow to rise longer than 30 minutes for best results.

Check out more of today’s recipes below!

Time: 45 minutes active [plus the time your breadmaker takes and an additional 30 minutes rising time].

Yield: 12-14 muffins.



Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Welcome to Day Two of Pumpkin Week on The Pajama Chef! It’s a good week, huh?

fall scene

Beautiful trees and water... I wish this was the view from my balcony!

Are you enjoying your fall? I am. I love how the leaves are changing. I love the chill in the air. I love the need for a warm breakfast. Yesterday we saw the savory side of pumpkin. The opposite of savory is sweet. And that is just what is being served today… in breakfast format!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

The goods, folks.

To me, cinnamon rolls are one of the most indulgent treats available to man. Warm, rich, gooey, utterly delightful pastry dough coupled with a filling of sweet and spicy cinnamon and topped with out of this world frosting. Altogether, cinnamon rolls are almost too sweet to be enjoyable. Almost, but not quite. I still enjoy them, don’t you fret.

I developed my love of cinnamon rolls by going to Cinnabon with my Grandpa as a child. We’d go to the mall for a treat when he babysat me after preschool or as a break during back to school shopping along with Grandma. Nowadays, I live in a town devoid of Cinnabon, so  I must remedy my cravings by making my own cinnamon rolls. And let me tell you.. they are almost as good as my childhood memories. But no recipe can top good memories, right?

This time, instead of using my traditional cinnamon roll recipe, I used a recipe found at Good Life Eats for a Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll. Best. Decision. Ever.

Good Life Eats placed pumpkin in the dough. I like my pumpkin intense, so I wasn’t about to stop there. I added it to the filling as well, switching out the butter for the pumpkin. Yum. Great choice. I took the easy way out with the kneading and rising parts of dough-making this time by using my breadmaker, but these rolls can be prepared by hand instead. Initially, I considered using my own frosting recipe, but in the end, went with the suggested cream cheese frosting. Another great choice, as it is practically a Cinnabon knock-off. Bliss!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, these are not your average cinnamon rolls. They are better than average. They are delicious and mouthwatering and will satisfy any sweet tooth. They are pumpkin-y and cinnamon-y and sweet to an extreme. I can’t wait to make them again.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in pan

Waterfalls of frosting... oh how I love thee!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting [from Good Life Eats]

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1/4 cup warm water [not hot, about 110 degrees]
  • 1 package active dry yeast [about 2 1/4 teaspoons]
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

To make the dough, add all ingredients to the pan of your breadmaker according to the manufacturer’s directions. My breadmaker calls for liquids and salt, then dry ingredients, then yeast, but yours may be different. [Liquids=water, milk, egg, pumpkin, butter.] Turn on the breadmaker using the “dough” setting. When dough is prepared, remove from the pan and turn out the dough on a floured work surface or countertop. **if you do not have a breadmaker, you can make the dough by hand using these instructions.

Meanwhile, while dough is rising in the breadmaker or in a bowl, make the filling. Whisk together all ingredients except pumpkin and set aside. Grease a 9 inch round springform or cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

After dough has been turned out onto the countertop, use a rolling pin or your hands to shape the dough into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle. Spread the 1/4 cup pumpkin over dough, leaving about an inch margin on all sides and then top with the sugar/spice mixture.

Roll the dough into a log the long way; it may stretch out some. Use a sharp, serrated knife and cut the log into 10 slices. Place in prepared pan.

The recipe can be prepared up to this point the night before, then covered with foil and refrigerated. In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator and take off the foil. Continue with below recipe, noting that the initial rising time may be longer because the dough is chilled.

Cover pan with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 40-50 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown and pull away from the edge of the pan slightly.

During the baking process, make the frosting. In a food processor, combine cream cheese, vanilla, butter, and lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar in 1/3 cup increments, beating in between additions, until all sugar is full incorporated. [If you need to use more than 2 cups to reach desired consistency, then feel free to do so!]

Frost warm rolls and enjoy immediately! Leftovers can be frozen… if there are any!

Click here for the printable version: pumpkin cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite special food memory?

Cornmeal Pizza Dough in the Breadmaker

pizza, salad, and wine

Mmmmm pizza. Everyone loves it. [Except random people like my dad. He'll eat it but I don't think he loves it.] Even though I’m a huge proponent of home cooked meals, pizza was always one of those things that I felt was better left to the professionals… if not a pizza place, then even frozen pizza or store-bought pizza crust and sauce was better, in my mind, than homemade. I always wanted to like homemade pizza, and I know many people swear by it. I just wasn’t one of them. Not that I didn’t try.

Over the years, I have had many failed and/or halfway decent but mostly blah pizza attempts. Some were so bad they were inedible. Other times the crust was soggy or would not cook completely [no matter how long it baked]. Or the sauce wasn’t flavorful. Or the cheese wouldn’t brown. You name it, I failed at it. Until now.

Why is this the case, you might ask? [I certainly did.] After thinking about this perplexing situation for awhile, an answer dawned on me.

A good pizza–no matter your favorite component of a pizza–is built upon the crust. If the crust is bad, the pizza won’t be any good, no matter the quality of the cheese or the freshness of the veggies or the flavor of the meat. Funny… this sounds a lot like other things in life… the quality of the whole is based upon the strengths and weaknesses of individual components… who knew pizza could be so enlightening? :)

Anyways. Back to the point at hand. If you want to make great homemade pizza, you gotta make a great crust.

And this pizza dough makes the crust of your my dreams.

It’s absolutely incredible in your mouth, and incredibly easy. Not only did the crust cook all the way through, but it was chewy and crisp and soft and flavorful and versatile just like pizzeria pizza is.

And to make the best pizza ever? Of course you need the best sauce. But you know what… you’re just going to have to come back tomorrow for that. It’s worth it, I promise. :)

me and pizza

Don't you wanna come back for more? Please do! I mean, look at this yummy pizza!

Cornmeal Pizza Dough [for use in a breadmaker] [from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger, reccomended by Life As Mom]

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 2/3 unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal –> I’ve learned that freshly ground cornmeal is amazing. My parents got some for me at the Graue Mill. Yum!
  • 1 teaspoon salt –> I am so guilty of omitting salt from recipes but use it in bread or your bread will fail miserably. :)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Directions:

Add all ingredients to the pan of your breadmaker according to the manufacturer’s directions. My breadmaker calls for liquids and salt, then dry ingredients, then yeast, but yours may be different.

Turn on the breadmaker using the “dough” setting.

When dough is prepared, remove from the pan and turn out the dough on a floured work surface or countertop.

Split into desired number of portions [2 thin 12-14" pizzas, 1 deep dish 14" pizza, 4 8" pizzas, 6 individual pizzas, or 1 17x11" rectangle] and shape into balls. Knead each ball [portion] a few times and then flatten slightly into a disc shape.

Cover with a damp towel and let rest for about 30 minutes or until the dough has grown in size about 20%. Then roll out and shape dough in your greased and cornmeal-ed [think flouring a pan, but with cornmeal] pan(s), and bake as desired.

I like to bake my dough for about 14-16 minutes at 450 degrees before topping with sauce and cheese and baking an additional 15-20 minutes, or until done. More on that tomorrow!

Notes:

This recipe can be prepared in advance and stored, unbaked, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 24 hours [let rest for 20 minutes at room temperature prior to use] or frozen up to 3 months [defrost for 24 hours in the refrigerator prior to use]. I have not tried this so I cannot speak about the quality

While I haven’t done this personally, tips for converting breadmaker recipes to manual [aka your own two hands] recipes can be found here and here. Good luck! :)