Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Don't we all love FALL?  It's that time of year where all the sudden, I can't get enough of all things orange.

I even went out and bought myself some orange wool, and I'm dreaming right now of orange knitting projects like this one......

It's that time of year for our favorite FALL comfort food. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I came across this recipe a few years ago at King Arthur Flour and seriously gasped when I saw it. 

I knew it was my destiny to make them.  And many, many batches later, I can tell you they are seriously divine. 

I do a few things a little different than the recipe says, (who doesn't) so I thought I'd share a little tutorial. The few little tweaks end up making a huge difference.

So here goes.......

Get all your ingredients out, plus some butter (get it to room temp), The recipe doesn't call for butter in the filling, only the dough, but I'll explain that in a few seconds.

Don't worry, you won't need THAT much butter :)

Mix your basic dough pretty much as the recipe says.  If you're using SAF instant yeast, you can just dump all your ingredients into your bowl or your mixer EXCEPT your water. 

I don't know if it's living in the humid Pacific Northwest, or if it's my house, or what, but I ALWAYS end up needing a lot more flour than every recipe calls for.  Is it me?  I don't know, but I always hold back more than half of my liquid measure, mix everything else, and then slowly add in a little liquid at a time, until the dough is the right consistency.  Be sure of course though, to err on the side of wetter than dryer when it comes to dough....

Properly Kneaded (meaning almost always more kneading than you think you need to) you should end up with this wonderful orange-colored, silky dough.

Okay, just a warning, this dough smells truly amazing.  It's like the best of two favorite smells combined: cinnamon rolls and pumpkin pie. 

After the first rise, you'll be ready to shape your rolls.  Don't. 

At least not yet.  Always rest the dough on your worktable for 12 minutes before you roll them out.  Instead of fighting the dough, it'll roll out beautifully.

I 'rest' the dough on my work surface (sprayed with a little Pam first) and cover it with a plastic bag for awhile so the dough can relax.

Then it's time to shape.  Something about the pumpkin puree in the dough makes it feel velvety and very extensible.  Shape as you need to fit whatever size pan you have.

Here's the substituation part of the recipe.  King Arthur wants you to buy their Baker's Cinnamon Filling.  They give you the sugar/cinnamon substitution, but don't tell you that you're gonna need some butter on those rolls first. 

So, instead of the Baker's Cinnamon Filling, mix 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon, plus 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice. 

Spread 1/2 cup of butter over your dough rectangle and then sprinkle on your spices.

No need for anything special to purchase. 

Then you'll lay them out onto a buttered sheet pan to rise.  I found these awesome plastic covers for half sheet pans at a restaurant supply store here in Bellevue, so they proof in a perfect humid environment. 

If you don't have one of those, you can put the entire pan inside of a plastic garbage sack poofed over your rolls. 

Now they are soft, and touching each other.  Time to BAKE!

I bake these differently than the recipe calls for.  It's my preference for ooey gooey soft cinnamon rolls.  So I preheat my oven to 325 instead of 375.

Then I bake for a total of 25 minutes (depending on the size of the rolls) and tent them with foil after the first 10 minutes, to keep them from over-browning. 

I pull them out when they are 'just' cooked through, or if we are serving them more than an hour after we bake them I pull them out 'just underdone.'

Our favorite topping for these is just a simple cream-cheese frosting. 

Here's the final breakdown:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (AKA, Cinnamon-Swirl Pumpkin Rolls from King Arthur)

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup lukewarm water (hold some back)
1/4 cup soft butter
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups Whole Wheat flour
1/4 cup Dry milk or nonfat dry milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup butter


Mix all dough ingredients together, holding back your water and adding a little at a time as needed.  Knead.  Cover and rise 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly greased surface.  Roll into a rectangle.  Spread butter evenly over your dough, leaving one edge clean.  Sprinkle your spice/sugar mix over the butter.  Roll up tightly, and use a serrated knife to cut your rolls (or dental floss.)

Place your rolls into a buttered pan, and let them rise for another hour, or until puffy.

Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes, tenting foil over the top after the first 10 minutes.  Then spread cream-cheese frosting of your choice over the top.

Oh yeah! I am relishing every moment of this FALL season.

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