I feel like my life right now is a cinnamon roll. Within every layer of dough is a sweet filling that makes the cinnamon roll what it is. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve moved here to San Francisco, and after four jobs, I’m still trying to dig through the layers to find that sweet spot.
I’d been eyeing this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe for quite some time. One year and a few attempts later, I’ve decided to confidently post it here on Shef Sherry. I love this recipe because the dough is nice and yeasty and pillowy soft.
There’s nothing that peeves me more than a hard, dry cinnamon roll. Ew.
Cinnamon rolls should be eaten fresh out of the oven. I had to learn this the hard way. Now I know not to make these things past 1 pm, because by the time they were ready, it was too dark outside to take any pictures. Daylight savings is the bane of my existence! Thus, I had to wait till the following morning to snap these photos, before I had the chance to finally reward myself. They were still delicious, but the thought of knowing that they would’ve tasted even better out of the oven, still rips at my heart. #foodbloggerproblems #ilivefornaturallight.
Speaking of natural light, I’ve been thinking about investing in a DSLR camera. I don’t know much about cameras, but I do know that I’m growing out of my Iphone 4S’s capabilities. I know…this thing is basically an antique now.
One error I made when making this recipe was that I did not knead the dough for long enough, which could’ve made these rolls even more stretchy soft. I also would add more fat in the form of melted butter, maybe about another tablespoon or so. Maybe one day, I’ll decide to remake these cinnamon rolls using the tangzhong method, the same used for my Hokkaido Milk Bread recipe. Please let me know if any of you have already beat me to it!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup pure pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
¼ tsp pumpkin spice
½ tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 ¼ tsp instant active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 ¼ cup + ¼ cup bread flour, sifted (can substitute all-purpose flour)
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Cream Cheese Glaze:
8 oz (1 package) cream cheese, softened
2 tsp milk
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Make the dough:
Warm milk and butter over the stove until warm, until the butter is just melted. The goal here is to achieve a temperature range of 105F-120F. Set aside. Attach paddle attachment to electric mixer and add pumpkin, salt, pumpkin spice and brown sugar. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add warmed milk and butter mixture and beat until combined. Add beaten egg, followed by the yeast. Beat together for 30 seconds.
Turn mixer to low and add one cup of flour. Mix for 5 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. Add remaining 1 and ¼ cup of flour and mix until combined, about 1 more minute. The dough will be very soft. Place dough on to counter and knead into a smooth ball. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel and keep in a draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 1 ½ -2 hours. I typically like to set my oven on to 150F, turn it off, and place the bowl inside to proof.
Use some of the remaining ¼ cup of flour to dust surface. Place proofed dough onto surface and punch it down. Knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Dust the surface to prevent sticking, but do not exceed using ¼ cup of flour. Using too much will give you dry cinnamon rolls!
Roll the dough out into a 16×10 rectangle, with about a 3/8” thickness. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and salt together in a bowl. Brush melted butter onto the dough leaving a ¾” gap along the top edge. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over the dough, and leaving a gap along the top edge as well. This will be important for the dough to stick onto itself when rolled up. Carefully lift the bottom edge and roll up the dough. With the seam on the bottom, trim the edges, and cut into 12 pieces, about 1 ½”-1 ¾” wide each. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray, and arrange rolls evenly spaced. Don’t worry, the gaps will be filled once the rolls have proofed. Place a damp towel over the pan, and place in a draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1- 1 ½ hours. You may also proof the rolls overnight, and bake it the next morning. Just let the rolls come to room temperature for an hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until edges are brown. Rotate at the 15-minute mark. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Make the glaze:
Place softened cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar into a medium bowl. Use a spatula to manually mix most of the confectioner’s sugar into the cream cheese. Then take your electric beater and beat until well incorporated. Add milk to thin it out. Spread over the warm rolls.
Let cool until rolls reach temperature where it won’t burn your tongue when you shove them in your mouth.