Cinnamon rolls warm from the oven are one of my favorite breakfasts ever. Posts for pumpkin cinnamon rolls have been rolling through my feed on Pinterest lately, so I decided to take the plunge. I usually shy away from yeast breads because I have a tendency to kill the yeast. No so since I discovered the trusty meat thermometer (for more on why a meat thermometer is a must-own kitchen gadget, check out this post. The ode to meat thermometers is at the bottom.) I can check the temperature of the water or milk, not kill the yeast, and have beautifully risen dough every time.
Which brings us back to these rolls. They were a total hit. I ended up making two batches in two days because I shared the first one with the neighbors and my husband was disappointed when he got home and they were gone. With caramalized sugar-butter filling, slightly sweet pumpkin bread, and a-mazing brown sugar glaze (seriously, this stuff is addicting!), these pumpkin cinnamon rolls were everything I’d dreamed of. With their lovely light orange color, they’re awfully pretty too. We have a new fall favorite in this house!
The secret to any yeast bread is to not kill the yeast. I know I keep mentioning this, but I thought I was incapable of baking bread for years, until I realized I’m a perfectly find baker, I was just scalding the poor yeast. With this bread, I start by melting the butter in the microwave, then add the milk. Then I check the temperature with my meat thermometer. If it’s too cold (under 100), I put the milk/butter back in the microwave and zap it in 30 second bursts until it’s the right temperature (100-110).
This gets poured into a mixing bowl, and I add the yeast. This is the acid test. If the yeast froths after 5 minutes, we’re in business. If not, I might as well start over.
When your yeast has frothed (I actually think “proofed” is the technical term here), you can add the pumpkin, salt, and flour. Use a dough hook to mix it all together, then knead it for 6-8 minutes. The dough should not be sticky at all. If it is, you can add a couple tablespoons of flour.
Now you get to put your dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rise for an hour or so. It’ll be about twice it’s size when it’s done. Then you get to punch it down and roll it into a rectangle.
Once you’ve got a rectangle, you’re going to melt some butter, spread it over the dough (I use a basting brush for this), and then mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it all over the dough. Then you can roll the dough up into a big log and use either a sharp knife or a piece of floss to cut your roll into the individual cinnamon rolls. These go into a greased 13×9 pan.
We’re almost at the end! Let your cinnamon rolls rise for about 30 minutes, then bake them at 350 for 20-25 minutes. They’ll look like this when done:
Only thing left is the brown sugar glaze – and believe me, we’ve left the best for last. It’s super easy – just melt 2 Tbsp butter in the microwave, then add the brown sugar and mix them together until there are no lumps. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix it up well. Then you get to drizzle your glaze over the warm rolls.
Between the pumpkin-y cinnamon smell of the rolls and the sweet brown sugar smell of the glaze, these rolls are irresistible!
I linked up at Lil Luna! Check out the Link Party Palooza for other great recipes and ideas!