Soft and fluffy pumpkin dinner rolls which are vegan, eggless and so easy to make! You'll need only 6 key ingredients for this simple recipe.
This recipe combines two of my popular yeast bread recipes, my vegan brioche buns and vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls! These dinner rolls are perfect for the colder seasons, Thanksgiving or when you want a hearty side for dinner.
Simple pantry ingredients & substutions
To make the pumpkin bread rolls, you'll need:
Plain or all-purpose or bread flour. You can also use whole wheat or spelt flour, though it'd make your pumpkin rolls more dense.
Vegan block butter. Alternatively, you can use vegan butter spread (margarine) but will have to slightly decrease the amount of milk you use.
Dairy free milk such as soy, almond, oat, coconut or whatever you have on hand!
Pumpkin puree, either canned or homemade.
Cane sugar, brown sugar or coconut sugar. You can even use maple syrup! Even though these pumpkin dinner rolls are savoury, we need a little sugar to help feed the yeast.
Instant dried yeast (or rapid rise yeast) which helps the pumpkin dinner rolls quicker compared to other types of yeast. However, you can still use can use active yeast, regular yeast or fresh yeast.
Pumpkin spice (optional). I've also included a homemade version in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Preparing the dough for the pumpkin buns
If you're using instant yeast, you can simply add it to your mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients!
However, if you're using active, regular or fresh yeast, you'll need to bloom it first Simply mix the yeast with the milk from the recipe and wait until it bubbles. Once it does, simply add all your other ingredients to your mixing bowl. This step is shown in the first image of the collage below.
The dough can be kneaded by hand on a lightly floured surface or in a stand mixer. If you knead it by hand, consider it a free warm workout :). If you use a stand mixer, it's easy peasy!
Initially, the dough will be quite sticky and shaggy (like the image in the bottom left hand corner). However, the more you knead the dough, the more it'll come together. Kneading strengthens the gluten strands in the dough which helps it stay in one piece!
How to tell when the dough has been kneaded enough
Technically, you only need to knead the dough for 5 minutes. However, if you prefer rolls which are more 'bready' (rather than slightly cakey), the longer you knead the better!
The dough is ready when:
- It doesn't stick to the side of the bowl or your kneading surface. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
- It's soft, supple and stretchy.
- It passes the 'windowpane' test. This is where you can stretch a piece of the dough to create a 'window' and it doesn't break.
All of these help create soft and fluffy vegan pumpkin dinner rolls!
First rise for the dough
Once you've made the dough, let it rest in a bowl in a warm spot in your house!
As there's quite a bit of butter in this dough, we need to make sure the butter remains warm enough so the dough can rise. King Arthur Baking recommends that dough rises at a temperature of 24°C to 26°F (75°F to 78°F) if you want to wait only 1-2 hours.
When the dough doubles in size (or thereabouts) you can go ahead and shape your bread!
Shaping and resting the dough again
Divide your dough into 12 equal parts and shape them into balls. You can be as rough or particular as you want. Honestly, it doesn't matter what your buns look like!
However, if you don't mind being a bit fussy, each pumpkin dinner roll should weigh 60-70g. To shape the buns, I'd recommend folding all the end bits underneath the dough and rolling each bun until they're smooth. For a step by step guide, check out Baking Mad's Youtube video.
At this point, the dough has been worked enough that you need to rest them again. When the buns are puffy again, they're ready to bake :).
Shortcuts for quick vegan dinner rolls!
If you're in a rush or just don't have the patience to wait for dough to rise, here are a few shortcuts:
- Use instant dried yeast as it makes the dough rise quicker than other types of yeast.
- Skip the first rise of the dough. Once you've kneaded all the ingredients together, you can go ahead and shape the pumpkin buns. However, you'll still need to wait for the dough to rise after they've been shaped.
- Make the dough the day before and let it rise in an airtight container in the fridge overnight! Remove the dough from the fridge and when it's soft/malleable enough, you can shape the dough into dinner rolls.
Customising these dinner rolls
I haven't tried this recipe with a 1:1 gluten free flour blend so can't vouch for results.
Yes! Whole wheat flour is a little more absorbent so you may need to add a little more dairy free milk to get a soft dough.
Yes, you can use any oil instead of the butter. However, keep in mind that it may make the rolls more dense. If you use oil, I'd also recommend adding a generous pinch of salt to mimic that buttery flavour.
If you'd like pull apart rolls, I'd recommend a 11 x 6 inch baking pan, a large skillet pan or something slightly smaller. However, if you'd prefer stand alone rolls (something like burger buns), feel free to space the rolls apart!
Other vegan yeast bread recipes
- Buttery Vegan Brioche (classic and healthier options)
- Vegan Sticky Cinnamon Buns (with maple glaze)
- Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (with pecans)
Vegan Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- 3 ¼ cups (405g) plain or all-purpose flour, or bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup (200g) pumpkin puree
- ½ cup (120g) dairy free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm
- ½ cup (115g) vegan butter, softened (note 1)
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar, coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dried yeast, equivalent to 1 packet (note 2)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, or ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg and ¼ tsp ground ginger (optional)
- Pinch of any good quality salt, if using unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon any light-coloured sweetener, such as rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon oil or water
To make the pumpkin dinner rolls:
- If you are using active dry yeast, regular yeast or fresh yeast, mix it with the warm milk in a large mixing bowl. Wait for 5-10 minutes until the mixture starts to bubble.
- Add all the dinner roll ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer with the hook attachment. If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients in a large bowl then knead on a lightly floured surface.
- Knead the dough for at least 5-10 minutes or until the dough becomes soft and elastic. If the dough is a little dry, add a little more milk and knead again. If the dough is still sticking to the side of the bowl, add a little flour and knead again. The softer your dough, the softer your dinner rolls will be!
Resting the dough:
- Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place the bowl in a warm area until it doubles in size. This will take at least 1 hour. For extra tips to ensure your bread rises, read the section 'first rise' in the post above. See note 3 about overnight proofing.
- When the dough has doubled, divide it into 12 even parts (about 60-70g each). Shape each part into a smooth and round ball.
- Arrange the balls on a greased baking tray (mine was 11 x 6 inches or 28 x 15cm). Cover the tray with a tea towel and leave it in a warm area to rest for another 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough should increase in size by around 50%.
Baking the dinner rolls:
- When the dinner rolls are puffy again, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Bake the rolls the oven for 25-30 minutes. The buns are ready when the surface is golden brown and you can insert a skewer in between 2 buns and there's no wet dough on it. If the buns are browning too quickly but aren't fully cooked, carefully cover with alumium foil or another tray, as long as it doesn't touch the rolls.
Serving the dinner rolls:
- To make the glaze, simply mix both ingredients in a small bowl. While the rolls are hot from the oven, brush them with the glaze.
- Enjoy the pumpkin rolls warm. Like all home made yeast bread, these are best eaten the day they are baked. Alternatively, store the buns in an airtight room temperature for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Warm up the buns before you serve them!
- If you only have access to vegan butter spread (vegan margarine), use 1-2 tbsp less dairy free milk.
- Instant yeast doesn't need to be 'activated' or 'bloomed' beforehand. However, if you use another type of yeast, check the packet instructions to see if you need to use a little extra yeast. If you use another type of yeast, make sure you bloom it beforehand.
- For an overnight proof, place the dough in an airtight container in the fridge. Just make sure you let the dough come to room temperature before you shape it the next day.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.