Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

Puffy, buttery crescent rolls have mild pumpkin flavor and unfurl when you pull them apart. Serve them with your next autumnal dinner!

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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!

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

The dough felt really heavy at first, but it puffed up like a big pillow! 

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

After turning the dough out, fold it over onto itself and shape into a large loaf.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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!)

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

Smear the dough rounds with lots of soft butter, and I will specify SALTED BUTTER, because it really brings forward the buttery flavor.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

Roll the dough wedges up and place them on a baking sheet with the pointed ends tucked under. Bend the ends forward, slightly.

Pumpkin Crescent Rolls

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

Heather Baird
Puffy, buttery crescent rolls have mild pumpkin flavor and unfurl when you pull them apart. Serve them with your next autumnal dinner!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
1 hour 45 minutes rise time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 22 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 24

Ingredients
 
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Notes

For smaller rolls, cut the dough circles into 12 wedges instead of 8. The yield size will increase to 3 dozen.
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.
Keyword active dry yeast, all purpose flour, pumpkin puree
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Follow:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

I'm a professional pastry chef/pastry chef/baker so I'm qualified to say, you are a genius! I've been at it a long time and I'm certainly no slouch, but I still find new things to learn from you, and to the delight of my friends and family, have made many of your recipes. I had no idea about the lecithin granules. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and beautiful creations.

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Aw! Thank you. I needed to hear your sweet comment today. 🙂

Mellybrown
Mellybrown
4 years ago

I made a similar recipe last year and shaped the rolls into pumpkin shapes by adding a few slits with a pecan piece for the stem. Major cute and oh so tasty.

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  Mellybrown

That sounds awesome!

basketpam
basketpam
4 years ago

These look fantastic. Gee, when you stray away from the big beautiful decorative cakes you do it in a big way. I'm hoping to try these in just a couple of days. The only thing I need to get is the lecithin which I hope is at the supermarket. I'm guessing health food stores don't carry this. It's not something I've purchased before so I don't know. I imagine if nothing else King Arthur Flour will have it but that will delay my taste testing. If these are as nice as I think they're going to be then I'll work… Read more »

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  basketpam

Hi Basketpam! You may be able to find lecithin granules at your local health food store. Most carry it because it's reportedly good for brain and nerve function.

Unknown
Unknown
4 years ago

Cannot wait to make these for Thanksgiving. They totally beat regular crescent rolls!

Unknown
Unknown
4 years ago

Heather, your recipes are beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing! These look so tasty 🙂 Do you think they would freeze well?

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  Unknown

Hi Sylvie! Yes, I these will freeze well. In fact, I wish I'd done that with this batch. After rolling the dough into crescents, place them on a baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Freeze. When the crescents are frozen then you can put them in a zip top freezer bag for easy storage. Let the crescents thaw and proof before you bake them. I'm not sure how long that will take, perhaps 1 hour. You'll know they are ready when they double in size. Bake as directed. Hope this helps!

sue
sue
4 years ago

Could you use coconut oil, as cisco is very bad for you?

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  sue

Hi Sue! I've never used coconut oil in yeast breads but I can speculate. I think it would work if you used the coconut oil in its solid form at room temperature. There's a relatively new product on the market called "red palm and coconut shortening". It's supposed to be better for you than regular shortening while mimicking its properties in baked goods. I think the brand is called 'Nutiva'. You could also replace the shortening with softened butter or suet, depending on your dietary preferences. Thanks for asking!

Roshini
Roshini
4 years ago

your golden crescents are lovely and inviting. If I am using fresh pumpkin, should I boil it first and then puree it before using in this recipe? thanks

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  Roshini

Hi Roshini! Thank you. You can boil the pumpkin if that's your usual method. I normally roast the sliced pumpkin in the oven at 400F(200C) for about 45-55 minutes. Then I puree the flesh in a food processor. Fresh pumpkin would be delicious in this recipe!

Margarita
Margarita
4 years ago

Thank you Heather for your blog, I always read and enjoy the recipes as if they are novels.
I didn't have much time nor canned puree, so I microwaved diced pumpkin for ten minutes and then pureed it. I skipped the butter and made a bread loaf out of the dough. It was just delicious.

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
4 years ago
Reply to  Margarita

Hi Margarita!
You're super smart to microwave the pumpkin – such a great short cut! I'll have to try this recipe as a bread loaf. Thank you for sharing!

xo-h