Pumpkin Shaped Bread or Rolls #BBB


Our kitchen of the month chose a rustic pumpkin shaped and pumpkin based sourdough loaf for us to make this month!  Of course I have seen posts decrying the PSL, (pumpkin spiced latte), crazed autumn lovers for a few weeks now.  Rest assured, this is not PSL flavored if you don't go for that, and it easily could be if you do!  Since I had already done a large pumpkin sourdough loaf before, I decided to go with something a little more compact this time.  I think they look quite like the Jack-Be-Little mini decorating pumpkins you can find in the produce section with the decorative winter squash.

My full sized pumpkin sourdough, pumpkin shaped loaf.

Myself, being a wayward babe, I chose my own pumpkin sourdough recipe, but you can check out our original full sized recipe, variety of grains, and excellent shaping pictures on the host's post.  (Mine has a smaller yield and is enriched with the use of butter and milk.)  For the following recipe, since you are starting it the night before, it doesn't really matter if the starter has been fed just recently.  I might not use a completely old and hoochy starter, but if it's been in the fridge for a week or so since feeding, it should still be fine.  Just might take a little longer to fully perk.  Mine hadn't been fed for at least a couple weeks. 

This is a fun shaped bread that, while it takes some time, is not difficult and will impress! It was absolutely delicious dipped into our chowder with dinner too.  We would love for you to try this shaping method with us this month!  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.
Pumpkin Sourdough Rolls
makes 10-12
¼ cup (56 g) butter (cold)
2½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour or any combination of flours  (I added a touch of millet flour)
½ cup (125 g) sourdough starter discard 
½ cup (122 g) pumpkin puree
½ cup (120 g) milk (dairy or plant based) (I used coco-cashew this time)
2 tbsp (40 g) golden syrup or honey (may reduce or omit if desired)
1 tsp (5 g) salt

Late the night before (or early the morning of) when you want to make the rolls:
Chop the cold butter into small pieces and toss with the flour in a stand mixer.  Rub the butter pieces into the flour with your fingertips until it is an even, mealy mixture.  Add the starter, syrup or honey, pumpkin and milk to the bowl.  Knead until a fairly homogenous dough is formed.  At this point, you can either cover the bowl and let the dough sit at room temperature for 8-10 hours, or you can cover and chill overnight to have the dough ready for later the next day.
On the day you want to bake:
Turn out the dough and knead and fold on a floured surface until the dough is springy and smooth.  Return to bowl and allow to rise until doubled.  This may take all day for chilled dough, or it may be ready to go in the morning for an overnight ferment, depending on the current strength of the starter. While the dough is rising, cut some kitchen string into forty 8-10-inch strands.  Place the strings in a bowl and toss with a little oil to coat.  Set aside for shaping later.
Once the dough has doubled, divide into 10-12 equal portions and roll into rough balls.  (10 if shaping into pumpkins, 12 if baking as plain rolls in a 9x13 dish.)  If desired, reserve about 15-30 grams of the dough to shape into little stems.  These stems may be plain or they may be colored with a little matcha or cinnamon or cocoa powder.  (I used some cinnamon and matcha.)  Roll each large portion of dough into a round ball by cupping your hand over the dough and pressing and rolling lightly in a circular motion for 10 to 15 seconds.  Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 4 pieces of string on your work surface, first in a cross, then an X, for eight equal divisions into a star shape.  Place a dough ball, smooth side-down, onto the center point. Carefully and firmly tie each string into a knot over the center of the roll. Snip off excess string using scissors.  (Do not tie the string too tight, just evenly against the surface of the dough.)

Place each tied roll, knot side down, onto a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strings and dough balls.

Let rolls rise for about 30 minutes or until they are slightly puffy against the strings.

Shape the reserved dough into "stems" and place them on the sheet next to the rolls.  The shapes should endeavor to be like little cones with a wider end and a narrow end.  (Pumpkin stems attach at the wide end, but it doesn't have to be a huge difference.)

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Cut strings off of each roll at the tops and peel down carefully and slowly to remove. Peel as far as possible and if the strings have baked into the sides, the strings may be pulled through from the bottom.  Cut a small hole in the tops of each roll and press "stems" into each hole, wider side down. Transfer pumpkin rolls to a serving platter.
To reheat rolls later, spritz with a little water, place directly on oven rack and preheat oven to 350ºF.  Rolls will be fully heated through when the oven is done preheating.

These were just lovely with baked potato soup!
(I took half of my dough and made 5 rolls for dinner, the other half I rolled out, spread with a little butter, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon, and rolled up into cinnamon rolls!  I sliced them into five rolls and baked for about 30 minutes at 375ºF in a pie dish.  Then topped with a simple powdered sugar glaze.)

Leftover dough yumminess.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes