These rolls almost didn't happen on Thanksgiving, which would have made me really sad. I made these a few years ago, and have been looking for an opportunity to make them again. The combination of buttery dough with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger is just genius.
I know that yeast intimidates some people, but these rolls are very easy to make, especially if using instant yeast, which does not require proofing. That's where most people accidentally kill active dry yeast with water that is too hot. If you're unfamiliar with forming rolls, you can bake this as a single loaf, and cut slices at dinner.
So, why did these rolls almost not happen? I made the sponge a day ahead of time . . . and then forgot to add it to the rest of the dough. OOPS! Thankfully, I had enough of the other ingredients that I could start over again.
These rolls can be made in advance, and either refrigerated and then baked, or baked and then frozen.
Pumpkin Spice Brioche
Barely adapted from Apple Pie, Patis, & Pâté
For the sponge
- 1 cup bread flour
- ⅓ cup water, at room temperature (70 to 75 degrees)
- Pinch of instant yeast
For the dough
- 3 cups bread flour
- 4 tsp milk
- 1 large whole egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 ¼ cups pure pumpkin puree, divided
- ½ tsp cinnamon, ground
- ⅔ tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1 ¼ tsp ginger, dried ground
- 1 ¼ tsp cloves, ground
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 10 tbsp butter, at room temperature, divided
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and water. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the sponge, the remaining 3 cups of bread flour, the milk, egg, yolks, yeast, half of the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, sugar, honey and half of the butter. Knead on low speed for 4 to 6 minutes, then on medium-high speed for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add in the remaining half of the pumpkin and butter and knead on low speed for 4 to 6 minutes; then on medium-high speed for 4 to 6 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and press with your fingertips to press out the air and shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Fold the left third of the rectangle in toward the center, then the right third in toward the center. Flip the dough into a large mixing bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 24 pieces, approximately 2 ounces each. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball, and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (you'll need two sheet pans). Let sit at room temperature for 90 minutes to proof.
- While dough proofs, preheat the oven to 380 degrees. When the rolls of finished proofing, bake the rolls for 15 minutes.
Number of servings (yield): 24 rolls