Puffy, buttery crescent rolls have mild pumpkin flavor and unfurl when you pull them apart. Serve them with your next autumnal dinner!
I enjoy dining out occasionally, and if there’s a complimentary bread basket involved then I’m the person who descends upon it with much zeal. I’ve often said that I could live on bread and sweet tea (the latter is a southern habit) and that sentiment rings truer than ever after I made these pumpkin crescents. Gosh, are they ever soft and buttery!
I used my KitchenAid mixer with the hook attachment to mix the dough, but you could also do it the old fashioned way and knead it by hand.
Like most bread recipes, the flour amount is given as a range. This one states ‘5-6 cups flour’ and after only 5 cups my dough came together perfectly, slapping the sides of the mixer bowl as the dough hook revolved.
Since the yield of 24 rolls is a bit large for our household of two I used granular lecithin as an ingredient to extend the shelf life. It’s not something that most people have on hand, but it is very helpful if you’d like your yeast breads to keep for longer than just a couple of days. It also adds cotton softness to the end result. You can find it here.
The dough felt really heavy at first, but it puffed up like a big pillow!
After turning the dough out, fold it over onto itself and shape into a large loaf.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces.
(I love using my bench scraper for this. Even though it looks simple, it’s such a good tool to use for bread-making. It’s good for cutting and transferring, and it has a little ruler at one end. I have two!)
Roll each dough piece into a 12-inch circle. I was too lazy to drag out my pastry mat, so I just drew a 12-inch circle in the flour as a guide.
Smear the dough rounds with lots of soft butter, and I will specify SALTED BUTTER, because it really brings forward the buttery flavor.
Cut the circle into 8 pieces using a knife or a pizza cutter.
Each crescent is a generous serving. If you’d like smaller crescents you can cut the circles into 12 wedges instead of just 8.
Roll the dough wedges up and place them on a baking sheet with the pointed ends tucked under. Bend the ends forward, slightly.
Bake them up at 400°F until golden and fragrant!
These rolls have all the good virtues of classic crescents. They are puffy and buttery, and they unfurl when pulled apart. They taste much like classic crescent rolls, but with a mild pumpkin flavor. Their yellow-orange color is so vibrant, I can imagine them looking pretty all stacked up in a big basket for Thanksgiving dinner and other fall feasts.
Pumpkin Crescent Rolls
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 package
- 1 cup 240ml water, 105 to 115°F
- 1/3 cup 70g granulated sugar
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 cup 270g canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup 92g vegetable shortening, at room temperature (such as Crisco)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5-6 cups 600-720g all-purpose flour
- *3 tablespoons granular lecithin optional
- 8 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature
- Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 3 minutes or until foamy. Add the sugar, egg, pumpkin, shortening, salt and three cups of flour. If using the optional granular lecithin, add it now. Stir together until combined. You can use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together or the paddle attachment on an electric mixer. Stir in additional flour until the dough is easy to handle (I used only 5 cups flour total).
- If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook. Set a timer and knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. If using your hands, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour (mine took 1.5 hours to double).
- Gently deflate the dough with a fist and turn it out onto a floured surface. Shape the dough into an even loaf (or baton) shape and cut it into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a 12-inch circle. Spread each circle with roughly 2 1/2 tablespoons salted butter; cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll up tightly beginning at the rounded edges. Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet with the points tucked underneath. Lightly cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let the rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled. Brush rolls with egg wash.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Serve warm with more butter!
Granular lecithin will increase the softness and shelf life of these rolls. I recommend using it if all of the rolls won’t be eaten the same day they are made.
Substitute 1 cup mashed sweet potato for the pumpkin for sweet potato crescent rolls.