When fall rolls around, you know it’s that time when all things pumpkin start taking over. And these vegan pumpkin bread rolls definitely fit the category. They’re soft, fluffy, super easy, and make for a great centerpiece at any party!
- 120g (1/2 cup) – non-dairy milk, warm at 100°F, I used soy
- 1 1/4 teaspoon – active dry yeast
- 120g (1/2 cup) – pumpkin puree, leveled (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 352g (2 3/4 cups) – bread flour, leveled and sifted
- 1 teaspoon – salt
- 75g (1/3 cup) – granulated sugar, leveled
- 42g (3 tablespoons) – vegan butter, softened, divided
- 4 tablespoons – Neutral oil, I used vegetable
- 28g (2 tablespoon) – melted butter (to brush the top of the buns)
- 8 pecan halves, to use as a stem
Make The Dough
- Combine warm soy milk and active dry yeast, and mix until dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes to bloom.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add in the pumpkin puree and the bloomed yeast with the dry ingredients.
- Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and use the dough hook attachment. Set your mixer on “stir” and allow it to mix all the ingredients together.
- Once a shaggy dough has formed, add in the softened butter around a tablespoon at a time until the butter has fully kneaded in. Increase the mixer speed to 2 and continue to knead the dough for another 10 minutes. You’ll know when your dough is fully kneaded when it springs back when you lightly press down on it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead it into a nice round ball.
- Place it in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and set it aside in a warm spot for 1 hour to rise or until doubled in size.
While you wait:
- Meanwhile, prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper and setting it aside. Cut the cooking twine into 8 pieces, each measuring about 32-inches in length. Pour about 4 tablespoons of oil or more into a small bowl. Place the cut cooking twine and allow it to soak in the oil until it is ready to use.
Prepare the dough:
- When your dough is done rising, (it should have doubled in size. If not, allow it to rise for 1 more hour) punch down the dough and measure out 8 equally sized pieces. You can eyeball this, or use a food scale for more accuracy.
- Working with one dough ball at a time, while covering the rest with a damp cloth, shape each piece of dough into a ball by tucking them underneath itself. Pulling their tops taut making them nice, smooth, and round.
Shaping into a pumpkin:
- Find the halfway point between the dough and the string. Place the dough top-down over the twine, and bring both ends up and over. Twist once, flip the dough over, and wrap the twine over. (You should have 4 sections at this point.)
- Flip the dough over again, twist once, and wrap the twine in between a section. Flip it over again and continue to do this until you have 8 sections. While you are doing this, make sure not to wrap the twine so tightly around the dough. Tie the string at the top, and repeat for the remaining dough.
- Place the tied dough pieces onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1-2 inches of space in between. Cover with a cloth and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. While you wait, preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Remove the cloth, brush the tops with melted butter, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Allow them to cool before cutting off the twine. Poke a hole at the top of the bun with a chopstick or something similar and insert a pecan half. Serve with some butter or jam and enjoy!
- Measure your flour properly. My recipes are 100% tested in grams. A common reason baked goods fail is incorrectly measured flour. I always recommend using a scale for accuracy when baking. This greatly improves your chance for success and lessens room for error.
- If you’re measuring by cups, avoid scooping the measuring cup directly into the flour. This tends to pack the flour into the cup, resulting in too much flour and a very dense or gummy finished product. Instead, aerate your flour (fluff it with a fork or spoon) and then spoon it into your measuring cups, leveling it with your finger or the back of a butter knife. Keep in mind though, that this method is not guaranteed to be accurate.
- Watch this video from King Arthur on how to properly measure your flour if you don’t have a food scale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUSovVHpqsU
- Why soak my cooking twine in oil? This will allow the twine not to stick too much to the dough. Yes, it will stick a little bit because of the tension from the dough, but it will make it easier to remove once the rolls have been baked.
- I don’t understand your shaping method, help! I personally hate making too much waste, so I like using one long cooking twine to shape my dough. But, if you really prefer the easier route, you can cut 4 cooking twines per roll. Place the 4 pieces of twine work surface. Crisscross strings over a center point into a star formation. Place a dough ball, onto the center point. Firmly tie each string into a knot over the center of the roll. Snip off excess string using scissors.
- Can I use all-purpose flour? Yes, however, because it has a lower protein content compared to bread flour, it will result in a wetter dough. Simply add a few more tablespoons of flour if this happens.
- Can I make this gluten-free? I have not tried baking gluten-free bread, so I can’t say it’ll work out the same.
- How do I store vegan pumpkin bread rolls? These bread rolls are best eaten the same day, but they will keep covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Can I freeze these bread rolls? Yes! Bake the bread rolls and let them cool fully to room temperature. Do not brush the butter or place the pecan as the stem. Then wrap in aluminum foil/plastic wrap/wax paper/etc. and then seal in an airtight freezer bag for up to 2 months. To reheat, let thaw for about 10-15 minutes, then bake at 400°F for about 5 minutes. Brush with the melted butter and add the pecan.
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