Pumpkin Honey Dinner Rolls

 MAKES 24 Large Rolls | ACTIVE TIME 20 Min | TOTAL TIME 2 Hours 40 Minutes

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets) 1 cup warm almond milk (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie)
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons butter or butter substitute, melted (divided)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add yeast, warm milk and honey.  Swirl with your fingers or a spoon to dissolve the yeast.  Allow to sit until the yeast starts to bubble and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes.

Add pumpkin, eggs and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Mix on medium speed until mostly combined. Add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and 4 cups of flour. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft
dough (mine takes the whole 3 additional cups) so that it cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl. You should have a ball of tacky (not sticky) dough at this point. When you touch the dough and pull your fingers away there should not be any dough on your fingers. If it is sticky, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes tacky (does not leave dough on your fingers when you touch it). Allow to knead for about 5 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured board; knead about 10 turns. Form into a loose ball. Place dough into stand mixer bowl(which should have been mostly cleaned out from the dough being kneaded in it). Cover with plastic wrap and a cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and we will form into 24 balls. Place dough on counter top and form dough into a loose ball.  We are going to cut this ball into 24 (somewhat) even pieces. First quarter the ball of dough. Roll each quarter into a log. Cut that into 3 equal pieces. Then cut each piece into 2 equal pieces. I used a bench scraper but a butter knife will work fine.  When you are done you will have 24 pieces.

Place rolls on a greased 13"x19" jelly roll pan (or 2-9x13 pans). *At this point you can refrigerate to continue tomorrow, see notes.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Brush tops and sides with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.  Allow to cool before serving.

DONNA'S NOTES: You can mix the dough by hand if you do not have a stand mixer.  Add milk, yeast and honey to a bowl.  Once the yeast blooms mix in the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and 6 tablespoons butter. Once it comes together, add in the salt and the flour.  Mix with a spoon.  Turn dough out onto floured counter top and knead for 3-5 minutes until dough is no longer sticky.  Proceed with remaining instructions.

You can substitute regular milk for almond milk if you do not need dairy free.

OVERNIGHT METHOD: Once the dough is formed into balls and placed on the baking sheet you can place them in the refrigerator covered with aluminum foil to bake tomorrow. To continue this recipe from the refrigerator, you will need to remove from refrigerator and remove aluminum foil. Allow dough to come to room temperature and rise. This can take longer than the 45-60 minutes as the dough has to warm up before it begins to rise. Proceed with recipe as written.
Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
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