Let’s Get Cookin’

20171102_143038For years I have been cooking.  Professionally, at home, for charity, for fun, and, of course, to feed hungry bellies where ever they may be, cooking is a constant.  While on vacation this week I revisited some ideas I had for opening a bakery and food blogging.  Well, while the bakery remains a bit of a dream for the moment, food blogging is actually pretty doable and is rather enjoyable for me.  Especially since I am cooking nearly every damn day.

Since I have moved to Montana, many moons ago, I have noticed there is a definite style of cooking in this area.  And I love it!  Having grown up in Ohio, I experienced a lot of Amish and Mennonite cooking.  It was natural to begin to mix it up with what’s out here.  So many of the things I would make were old classics, but with a bit of  mountain country twist.

So, with arrival of October came true fall and the pumpkins.  I love the pumpkins.  Pumpkin everything is not lost in this area.  It is embraced and ran with in everything from soups, drinks, and bread.  My friends and myself call it “Code Pumpkin.”  It’s a fantastic thing.  You begin to find those little pie pumpkins in all the markets.  I grabbed a trio from the local Walmart.  No regrets!

Then comes November!  The time of the pie draws near.  However I am on vacation now and pumpkin is just sounding good.  My kitchen is now Code Pumpkin central as I begin to prepare all things pumpkin for a seasonal treat.

So, in homage to the great Ohio bakers and a fusion of this mountain country, I bring to you… Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.

In my recipe you get a good hint of the pumpkin and spices in the dough without feeling like you’re eating a piece of bread wrapped pie filling.  There is milk and egg in this, and my house was barren of regular milk.  Having a lactose issue, I am lightly stocked in milk alternatives, such as goat and soy.  For today’s selection I went with goat, primarily because it has a good tang and when used in a yeast based dough, the yeast flavor calms down the pungent gamey flavor goat can have from time to time.  If you are using canned milk, don’t forget to shake it before opening to get that fat content mixed back in.  If using evaporated, you will also want to add an equal amount of water and mix well.

You can prep your pumpkin ahead of time or used canned, your choice.  I am going whole hog into this, so I have my pumpkin already to go from the night before.  If you aren’t sure what to do with a pumpkin, click here and I will guide you through on the process.

These rolls are pillow soft and full of flavor.  Serve them warm to experience the full effect.

Now, on to the recipe!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yields 12 large rolls

DOUGH

  • 2 C milk (goat or cow)
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1 sachet of active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree
  • 1 fresh egg

FILLING

  • 1/2 C of browned butter
  • 1 C packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs ground cinnamon

ICING

  • 1 1/2 C powder sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbs browned butter
  • 1/2 C milk (goat or cow)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract

In a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat, add milk, sugar, and oil and heat till warm.  Warm does not mean hot.  Too hot will kill your yeast.  If it gets too hot, let it sit to the side for about 15 minutes until warm. Pitch your yeast in and let it set to the side, cover with a clean cloth to rest for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl add flour, salt, and spices, mix well.

In a small bowl lightly beat the egg and combine the pumpkin thoroughly.

Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour in your milk mixture in.  Mix it well and then add your pumpkin mix.  Combine all this thoroughly.  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for one hour.  You can let it rest longer, it will only improve the flavor.

After it’s done resting, flour up your working space and drop the dough onto the counter, give it a good dashing of flour and lightly knead the dough.  This is a sticky dough, so keep some near by to run your palms over.  Knead about 20 times, take care not to use too much flour to make it stiff, you want it very soft.

Pick up your dough and throw out some more flour onto the workspace and return the dough.  Cover a rolling pin in flour, and dust the top of  your dough and roll out a large rectangle, about 30 inches by 18 inches.

Coat the dough in browned butter, if you aren’t sure what that is, click here.  Spread on the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Grease a large baking pan.

Begin to roll your dough starting at the long edge further away from you.  Gradually roll the dough up into one long log.  Gently pull the edge nearest you over the top of the log and pinch this seam closed as you go.  Mark the middle of the log and cut, mark each half and cut, cut each quarter into three evenly sized pieces.

Place each roll into pan, leaving a little room between the rolls to rise.  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375F.  After the rise, bake for 30 minutes.

Make your glaze while waiting.  Mix powder sugar and salt in a bowl.  Add butter and vanilla and begin to combine.  Slowly add the milk till you have a nice pouring consistency.  If you add too much milk, counter with a bit more sugar.  Set this aside for later.

Remove rolls when done, pour glaze on while hot.  Don’t even wait, go at it and listen to the sizzle.  The glaze is going to get pulled into those hot morsels and fill up with more flavor.

I recommend coffee or hot tea as a side.

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Look at all that fluffy pumpkin goodness!

 

 

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