Our family does holidays pot-luck style, and this year an email went around for everyone to tell what they wanted to bring. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, multiple desserts... everything filled up quickly, and as I looked over the list I realized the only thing missing was bread. Well, if I'm going to bring bread, I'm at least going to make something pretty!
Last year for Halloween I made these pumpkin shaped dinner rolls from Beyond Kimchee. The rolls have a little bit of pumpkin mixed in for color, and are a little sweet. I remember they were tasty, but they definitely did not come out as cute or recognizable as I'd hoped. (these are the nicest ones on top) ~
I decided to make pumpkins again, but debated if I should shape them the same way. I searched for pictures of pumpkin rolls, and the best ones I saw wrapped the dough with kitchen string. I also saw a tempting technique of wrapping & knotting a coil of dough to make the shape. But in the end I decided that I hadn't cut the slits deep enough last time, and wanted to try cutting them again.
The first step is mixing the dough and then letting it rise an hour. I actually had a little trouble with this because the dough started traveling up the beaters and wouldn't stay down. I've had it happen once or twice before, and it even gets past the beaters up inside the mixer! (A Google search says the speed might not have been high enough, or maybe it was the wrong attachment, or maybe no one knows why.) At this point it was mostly mixed anyway, so I just did a little hand kneading.
Next you divide the dough in half, then cut each half into 16 pieces (the recipe said 15, but 16 makes more sense to me!). Roll each piece into a ball, flatten a little, then use a knife or kitchen scissors to cut 8 deep slits around the sides (almost to the center) and let rise another 45 minutes.
And then it's time to bake them, then add a pecan half for a stem at the end. My rolls turned out so much better this year with the deeper cuts!
After the first pan, I learned that I needed to reshape the rolls a little before baking. If one 'petal' was sticking out further than the others, or if the whole thing was shaped more like an oval, that should be pushed in a little to make a nice circular shape. Surprisingly, they don't magically turn into circles as they bake, haha.
I also found the recipe a little hard to follow. There is a step-by-step with pictures first, then a written recipe at the bottom. But some details are only in the top section and some only in the bottom, so you constantly have to scroll back & forth (past all of the pictures). If I make these again I'll definitely take a few progress shots and write up my own version. Otherwise the recipe is great!