The Great Pumpkin rises

One of the best things about living with someone who doesn't cook is the gratitude I receive for making anything edible. Occasionally, T's appreciation of my baking skills borders on blind faith as he momentarily suspends his belief in science and ponders the magic that is kitchen chemistry. 

"Where did you get this caramel sauce?" he asked this morning as he bit into a warm pumpkin roll.

"Butter and sugar," was my answer as I licked the good sticky stuff from my fingers.

Pumpkin caramel rolls are, indeed, magical.

Pumpkin Caramel Rolls
Makes 7 to 8 rolls

For the dough:
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup prepared pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Zest from one orange
1 cup sour cream or whole fat yoghurt
1 egg
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
Olive oil

Combine butter, pumpkin, spice, zest, and sour cream in large mixing bowl.

In small bowl combine water, sugar, and yeast. Allow to foam, about 5 minutes. 

Add yeast to pumpkin mixture. Stir in salt and 3 cups of the flour all at once. If using stand up mixer, use dough hook attachment and knead dough on slow speed. Gradually add additional flour until very wet sticky dough forms. If kneading by hand, pour dough on to well floured board and knead in additional flour.

Shape dough into large ball and place in well oiled bowl. Turn dough so that it is completely covered in oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or towel. Set aside until doubled or overnight, at least 2 hours. 

For the rolls:
3 tablespoon butter, softened + 2 tablespoons for bottom of pan
1/3 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup for pan
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds roasted in olive oil and salt until plump and crunchy

On floured surface use your hands to gently shape dough into 10x12 inch rectangle (dough is very pliable, you will not need a rolling pin). Spread 3 tablespoons butter across dough, sprinkle surface evenly with 1/3 cup brown and 2 tablespoons white sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Beginning at long side, roll dough into tube an pinch ends together. Cut cut each roll into into 7 or 8 round pieces. 

Grease the bottom and sides of a round 8 or 9 inch cake pan with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Evenly coat bottom of pan with 1/4 cup brown sugar. Nestle rolls in pan, cover with plastic wrap or towel and rise to double, about 1 hour.

Bake rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes (check after 20) until outside is crisp and golden. Cool on rack 5 minutes, then invert pan over plate and release rolls. Sprinkle tops with pumpkin seeds and serve warm.


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