These fluffy dinner rolls are made with whole wheat flour, olive oil, and pumpkin puree to become extra moist, delicious and vegan!
Hey guys! Since the holidays are just around the corner, I’ve decided to post a series of recipes as a holiday dinner menu and I’m starting with these fluffy dinner rolls because they bring that extra something to the table. They’re made with olive oil and pumpkin puree, so they’re healthier than the ones made with butter, plus they’re extra moist and fluffy with a subtle fruity and earthy aroma. Oh, and like this carob & whole wheat flour bread with walnuts, they’re vegan! It goes without saying that they are a perfect side not only for your Christmas (or New Year’s Eve) dinner but for any other dinner for that matter 🙂
If you’re not an experienced baker and you don’t have access to very good flour then chances are that the bread you’re gonna make will probably not be as good as a store-bought one. And I’m not talking about supermarket bread, I’m talking about the real bread you find in some true bakeries, where making bread is considered more of an art than a dull task. So, why bake my own bread? First of all, I like to bake. And frankly, while this reason is more than enough to justify this decision, I have another one. It is impossible (at least where I live) to find dinner rolls with pumpkin and olive oil!
This is your chance to use any pumpkin (or squash) puree you have left and don’t know what to do with it! If you want to make your own puree, then you can see how I do it in this light and creamy butternut squash risotto post. And because of the puree and the olive oil, these rolls keep very well (just keep them wrapped with cling film or in a zip-log bag for maximum freshness! Mine kept very well for over 4 days and I hadn’t even put them in the fridge.
- Different flours, depending on the type and brand, may absorb more or less liquid. If your dough is too sticky, add one tablespoon flour at a time, while kneading, until it is easy to work with.
- The dough needs to have plenty of moisture for the rolls to become soft and fluffy; that’s why it will be a little sticky. Lightly oil your hands before shaping the bread rolls to avoid dough sticking to them.
- Try adding some crumbled feta cheese or crushed nuts in the dough for a pleasant surprise!
- You can skip the first rising of the dough and make the rolls right away, but letting the dough rise one time prior to shaping them, improves texture and flavor.
- You can substitute all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour.
- This recipe freezes very well. Wrap the rolls with cling film, transfer in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge and warm them up in the oven for 10 minutes.
- These dinner rolls keep well for several days when stored well-sealed inside a zip log bag.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 envelope/packet (9 grams) instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus some extra to oil your hands
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cups warm, not hot, water or almond milk (you can use regular milk if not vegan)
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon fine salt (I use 3/4)
- Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sesame or poppy seeds for topping
Transfer all the dry ingredients except the salt in a large bowl, or in the bowl of your stand-mixer and stir to combine.
Add the water, pumpkin puree, salt, and olive oil and knead by hand or with the dough attachment until elastic and not very sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add some extra flour.
Cover with a towel and let the dough rest in a warm place until doubled in volume (about 1-2 hours).
- Lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with baking paper.
- Transfer the dough to your working surface, oil your hands and knead for 1 minute to deflate. Then divide into 12 equal pieces (or 16 smaller ones).
Lightly oil your hands and shape the dinner rolls. Transfer the rolls to the baking paper, seam-side facing down.
Let in a warm place to rest and almost double in volume.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- When rolls are ready, brush them with some extra olive oil and sprinkle the sesame or poppy seeds on top of each.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Let on a rack to cool. Eat!