Why limit pumpkin to pies and desserts? Use pumpkin puree to make pumpkin sandwich bread loaves and dinner rolls!
The holidays don’t slowly creep up on you. You don’t see it coming a mile away. It just hits you like a ton of bricks all at once.
As soon as Halloween is oven, it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and beyond. Will you serve a sit down dinner? Would you rather host a cocktail party? Do you have enough chairs and seating for everyone?
I often feel unprepared and overwhelmed by the eight short weeks between Halloween and New Year’s Day. This year will be different. I’m planning super early!
Pumpkin Sandwich Bread
I’ve already started making batches of this pumpkin sandwich bread. Since it freezes well, I’ll always have enough bread on hand to make leftover Thanksgiving panini or a plate of pumpkin sandwich bread grilled cheese (like the one photographed above) whenever the craving strikes!
Hands down my favorite way to incorporate pumpkin in autumn baking is through breads! A few years ago I made these pumpkin dinner rolls topped with poppy seeds.
This year’s pumpkin bread variation can be made two ways: into a loaf or into small slider buns. The recipe makes enough to make both versions.
The pumpkin sandwich bread loaf is very simple to shape. After the dough’s initial rise, punch down the dough to remove air bubbles. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 9×12-inches. Fold into thirds like a business letter and place seam side down into a well greased (or parchment lined) bread loaf pan. That’s it!
Shaping the rolls (aka slider buns) requires a little more effort.
How to Shape Pumpkin Sandwich Bread Rolls:
Uniformity is important when making bread rolls. In order the rolls to bake evenly, they should be roughly the same size. For this reason, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to portion out the dough pieces.
Keep the portioned dough pieces covered with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out or forming “elephant skin.”
I start by flatting the piece of dough to remove any air bubbles. Then I take the edges of the dough and bring it to the center. Pinch the seams together and place the dough seam-side down on your work surface.
Keeping the side of your palm and pinky finger on the work surface, roll the dough into a tight ball. Use your thumb to guide the dough. In the end, you have a round ball with a smooth top.
Place the shaped dough balls on a lightly greased baking dish. You can use a 9×13-baking pan or 12-inch round baking pan.
The dough will seem too small for such a large pan. Have no fear. They’ll puff up. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and let rise. After an hour or so, the dough will magically grow!
Before baking, the risen dough get lightly brushed with egg wash and topped with pumpkin seeds (pepitas). These pumpkin sandwich bread rolls smell amazing as they bake in the oven. You’ll want pull off a roll as soon as they’re done baking.
While you can eat the bread rolls fresh from the oven, I suggest allowing the 9×5-inch bread loaf to cool to room temperature before slicing in.
This pumpkin sandwich bread is the perfect vehicle for all sorts of toppings. Enjoy it toasted with butter or jam. Use to it make a BLT or turkey sandwich. Once it becomes a little stale, give it a second life as a pumpkin French toast!
Pumpkin Sandwich Bread
Yield: makes one 9x5-inch loaf and 13 mini sandwich rolls
- 2 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water , 110 degrees F
- 1 teaspoon + 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 Tablespoons grape seed oil , or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon molasses
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg , room temp
- 1 teaspoon water
- pinch fine sea salt
- raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) , as needed to top
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to sit undisturbed for5-7 minutes. The mixture will bubble and smell like beer once the yeast has activated.
Whisk in eggs, remaining sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, and molasses. Mix until smooth and well combined.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.
Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add all of flour mixture to mixing bowl. Run mixer on low speed until dough begins to form. Increase speed to medium and knead for 3-5 minutes until dough is soft, smooth, and pulls away from the sides of mixing bowl.
Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 60-70 minutes until doubled in volume.
Gently deflate risen dough. Divide dough into two equal parts.
To make bread loaf: Lightly flour work surface. Pat dough into a rectangle about 9x12-inches. Fold into thirds like a business letter. Place dough seam side down into a well greased (or parchment lined) 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30-40 minutes until dough has reached the top of loaf pan.
To make rolls: Lightly flour work surface. Divide dough into 13 equal parts. Keep dough covered while you work. Roll into 13 balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet (9x13-inch pan) or 12-inch round baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 30-40 minutes until dough has puffed up and almost doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make egg wash: whisk together egg, water, and salt until well combined.
Lightly brush tops of dough with egg wash. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top. Bake bread loaf for 33-35 minutes until crust is golden brown and internal temperature of bread registers at least 190 degrees F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and internal temperature registers at least 190 degrees F.
Allow loaf to cool in pan for 3 minutes. Unmold and allow to cool to room temperature on wire rack before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Store cooled bread in an air-tight container for up to three days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Pumpkin Yeast Bread