Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

These will add inches to your waistline and smiles to your face ;)

I came up with pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls by accident when making pumpkin yeast bread, because A) I wanted cinnamon rolls and B) I had leftover pumpkin puree.

Without further ado, the recipe:


6 3/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 3 pkgs yeast)
1/2 C warm water (think baby bottle warm)
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 1/2 C pumpkin puree (any winter squash, sweet potato etc will do)
2 C slightly warm milk
2/3 C brown sugar
2/3 C softened salted butter (plus more for pans and filling)
2 eggs - beaten
3 tsp salt - scant
1 1/2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
12 1/2 C all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl dissolve yeast in 1/2 C warm water, add 2 TBSP brown sugar and let stand for 5 minutes.
If mixing by hand add ingredients one at a time, but if using a stand mixer the following works great:

Using a dough hook - turn mixer on to low and add pumpkin puree, 2 C slightly warm milk, 2/3 C packed brown sugar, 2/3 softened salted butter, 2 beaten eggs, 1 1/2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice and scant 3 tsp salt. Mix well until mostly smooth - if butter will not incorporate use a whisk and beat it into submission mix it for a few seconds.

Add 6 C of flour, mix on medium for 3 minutes and then add 6 - 6 1/2 more cups of flour slowly until your mixer quits or you've kneaded it for 5 minutes or so.

My mom always said to pat your kneaded dough and when it feels like a baby's bottom you're done. I tried this. It works!

Dump the entire thing into a well buttered mixing bowl or other large pot, cover with a warm, moist tea towel and let rise for 90 minutes in a warm but not overly warm spot. Check at about 75 minutes to see if it's doubled, if not leave it alone and let the yeast poof in peace ;)

Once well risen - dump the dough onto a floured counter, smash down and cut into 4 equal pieces.
Stretch one piece into a large rectangle and  slather on a decent amount of softened salted butter, scoop out a bit of pumpkin puree and mix it into the butter - getting ALL the way to the edges! Sprinkle on brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. I didn't measure these; just eyeballed them, but if you're nervous, mix up the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl and adjust to taste.

Roughly I'd guess that for every cup of puree you'd want a 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a tsp of pumpkin pie spice. Like I said, I eyeballed it but it was magnificent!

Roll up the rectangle lengthwise and use a serrated knife or dental floss cut into 2 1/2" - 3" thick rounds. The ends will be odd, but that's ok they still taste good.

Lightly butter the bottom of glass* cake dishes, then sprinkle on more brown sugar and more pumpkin pie spice. Just a little, just to extend the gooey love to the soon to be tops of the cinnamon rolls.

Place the rolls into the pans, leaving a little room for expansion and cover with a warm, moist tea towel and let rise for 40 minutes.

About halfway through the second rise, preheat your oven to 350*
Once the rolls have risen (the second rise is not nearly as dramatic as the first, don't worry!), place into the heated oven with glass dishes not touching and let bake for about 30 - 35 minutes.

You should get about 20 - 24 large bakery sized rolls from this recipe and may have to bake in stages.
You can hold the dough after the first rise in the refrigerator for a few days if need be. I also freeze formed cinnamon rolls before the 2nd rise and thaw/rise in one step.

Disclaimer: I am just a home baker. My directions may not be perfect but this works for me and they are incredible.

*glass dishes hold the heat really well when baking - I prefer them to metal hands down!

 Adapted from this wonderful recipe: