Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday week. This is my third post in a row about pumpkin; over the past few weeks, I’ll admit that I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy. But this recipe was one I had never seen before, and looked so brilliant that I had to give it a try.
I got the itch to try my hand again at real bread when I saw this recipe by Gesine Bullock Prado. Brioche rolls – which are already delicious – combined with pumpkin?!
This is a yeast bread, not a pumpkin quick bread – it tastes like a fluffy brioche roll, with a distinct pumpkin flavor.
I was, again, very popular at the office. These are the perfect addition to any holiday table! And if for some reason you have leftovers, you can use the buns to make Gesine’s Pumpkin Brioche Bread Pudding. I can’t imagine a better way to use Thanksgiving leftovers.
One year ago: Pumpkin Biscotti
Pumpkin Brioche Buns
Recipe by Gesine Bullock Prado – see her recipe for more tips!
Makes 16 buns, or more if you want them smaller
For the sponge
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 packets instant yeast (I used Red Star)
2 cups bread flour
For the dough
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 pounds all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
egg wash (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons water)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, maple syrup, yeast and flour. Mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until the sponge has doubled, about one hour.
2. Once the sponge has doubled in size, add the brown sugar, salt, pumpkin and eggs to the sponge and mix with the paddle attachment until incorporated. Switch out the paddle attachment for the hook attachment, and add the two pounds of all-purpose flour and mix until just combined. Add the butter, a small piece at a time and continue mixing until the dough is shiny and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This can take 15 to 20 minutes. Only use a larger (5 to 6 quart) mixer to spare the motor of smaller mixers. Otherwise, sprinkle a small amount of flour on a work surface an knead by hand.
3. Coat a large bowl with oil or non-stick cooking spray and turn the dough over in the bowl so all the dough is coated. Cover again with plastic wrap, and allow to dough to double in size, about one hour.
4. Once the doubled in size (again), punch down the dough, dump onto a work surface, and divide the dough into 16 even pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball, and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Cover the sheet pans with plastic wrap and allow the buns to barely double in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the bun with egg wash and using a bread lame or sharp knife, score each bun in a star burst fashion to mimic the look of a pumpkin.
6. Bake until the buns are golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. If you decide to make smaller buns, bake time will be less.