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Whole Wheat Pumpkin Rolls

Bread is another integral part of our Thanksgiving feast.  That's probably no different from anybody else.  The thing is, growing up, it was more of an afterthought.  Albeit a necessary afterthought.  I remember mom or grandma assigning somebody to "bring the rolls".  Other than the cranberry cylinder person, this person had the easiest assignment.  They would go to the nearest market and grab at least four packs of brown-n-serve...or something similar...rolls.  Easter was Hawaiian Rolls, Thanksgiving was brown-n-serve.  Unlike the aforementioned cylinder, I never took issue with the rolls.  Warm bread is good.  Period.  I was always the girl who dove happily into the bread basket at the restaurant...and answered in the affirmative when asked if we wanted more.  And then a funny thing happened a few years ago.  I conquered my completely irrational fear of yeast.  And in turn, rolls are no longer an afterthought.  As much thought and planning goes into the bread as the rest of the meal.  I pick two or three types I want to include and add them to the flow-chart.  Yes, I make a flow-chart...which I blame on two things: my slightly obsessive need for organization and my ever-flourishing scatterbrain (it's genetics...thanks, mom).  And when I employ my trusty bread machine to do the mixing and first rise for me, it's barely any more work than running to the store in the midst of holiday madness to pick up a few packs of brown-n-serves.*
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Rolls
from the kitchen of girlichef
yield: 16 rolls

½ c. milk, lukewarm
¼ c. water, lukewarm
2 oz. salted butter, melted
½ c. pumpkin puree
⅓ c. honey
1 tsp. sea salt
1½ c. whole wheat flour
1½ c. bread flour
2½ tsp. instant yeast
Place all ingredients in order listed in a bread machine.  Select dough cycle and let run.  (Yes, you can mix everything by hand or in a stand mixer...then place in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so.  Divide into 16 even pieces.  Form each piece into a ball and place side by side in a 9" square pan that has been greased.  Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, ~1-1½ hours.  Preheat oven to 350° F during last 15 minutes of rise time.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nice and golden orange.  Let cool for a bit on a wire rack and then gently flip the rolls out to finish cooling out of the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

You can freeze the dough after you roll it into balls by lining it up on a sheet tray and freezing.  Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.  Placed in a greased pan and cover, in refrigerator the night before you want to bake them.  Remove from fridge and let rise on counter until risen and puffy, 3-4 hours...then bake as usual.
*disclaimer: I still have a soft spot for brown-n-serves. I didn't want the bread fairies to get the wrong idea. I have no qualms with turning to them in a pinch ...or a spot of laziness.

Wishing you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend!

I am sharing this post with:
BBD #44: Autumn Flavors hosted at Winged Snail
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