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Pumpkin soft roll

Below is the recipe for the soft pumpkin bread roll. Depending on what pumpkin you use, the ratio of baker's flour will need to be adjusted as instructed underneath.

It is almost difficult to make the exact amount of pumpkin purees without some excess or risk not having enough, therefore I always try to buy more pumpkin that I need and with any excess puree, I simply turn them into sweet pumpkin spread that goes really well with the rolls. Check out the end of this page for instructions on how to make the sweet pumpkin spread.



The below recipe makes 8 x 125 g individual rolls

Tang Zhong

60 g Water

90 g Full Cream Milk

30 g Bread Flour

Final Dough

330 g 75% White Baker's Flour

80 g 18% Whole Wheat Baker's Flour

50 g 11.3% Castor Sugar

6 g 1.3% Fine Salt

15g 3% Full Cream Milk Powder

5 g 1.13% Instant Dry Yeast

180 g 41% Pumpkin Puree

1/50 g 11.3% Whole Egg

140 g 61% Full Cream Milk




Before starting, prepare pumpkin puree by slicing the pumpkin (skin off) in to even slices and either steam or bake them in the oven until soft.

Puree the pumpkin and leave aside to fully cool.

Note: I use Kent Pumpkin but you can use any type of pumpkin. Alternatively, you can use canned pumpkin puree.


For the Tang Zhong

Place the flour, water and milk into a saucepan over medium heat and whisk it until the mix thickens into a soft paste.

Transfer the paste into a bowl wrapped with a cling film (touching the surface of the Tang Zhong) and leave to cool. To expedite the cooling process, you can place the Tang Zhong in the fridge to chill. Tang Zhong can be prepared a day ahead, just make sure to wrap it well to avoid it from drying out.

For the Pumpkin Bread

Preparation: Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Prepare 32 long cooking strings.

1. Once the pumpkin puree have been prepared and cooled, prepare the Tang Zhong and leave enough time for it to cool down fully.

2. Meanwhile, place 15 g of the sugar with the milk into a heat proof bowl and gently heat in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds until the milk reaches 30°C. Mix in the instant yeast and leave at room temperature until the surface starts to become frothy.

Depending on the ambient of your kitchen, this process takes roughly around 10 - 15 minutes.

3. Place all the ingredients, the rest of the 35 g sugar, active yeast mix, cooled Tang Zhong and cooled pumpkin puree into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook.

4. Start mixing on low speed for 5 minutes until all the ingredients are well combined, then turn the speed up to medium speed and keep mixing for 8 to 12 minutes. To know when the dough is ready, generously dust your hands with flour, you should be able to pull the dough and stretch without it tearing.

Note: The dough is a very soft dough but should not be totally wet and unable to handle.

Depending on the pumpkin that you are using, as they vary in water content, if at this point your dough seems really wet, add an additional 10 g flour increments and mix for another 2 minutes to allow the flours to have enough time absorb some of the excess liquid, add more and repeat the mixing process if needed.

Do not be tempted to add more flour than you need, otherwise your bread will turn out dry.

5. Dust the work bench generously with baker's flour and transfer the soft dough onto the bench. "Stretch and fold" the dough then roll it tightly into a ball and transfer it into a bowl (seam side down) previously dusted with flour.

Cover the dough with tea towel and let it bulk ferment or until it increases in size by 50% of its original size.

6. Once the dough have increased 50% of its original size, generously dust the work bench with more flour and release the bulked dough onto it.

7. Divide the dough in to 8 x 125 g individual portion. Roll each portion in to a ball, dust flour when needed. Cover with tea towel while working with each roll to avoid it from drying out too much. Leave for 20 minutes.

8. Line 4 long cooking string across from each other. If the dough seems to be slightly slack at this point, simply press the dough down and re shape the individual roll in to a tight roll again.

Dust the top of the overlapping strings and on top of the roll, turn the roll over on to the center of the strings so that the seam side is facing upwards. Tie the strings together on each four ends making sure that you do not tie it too tight around the roll to allow it to expand. Trim off any excess strings.

Turn the roll over so that the knots are underneath and place it on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Continue with the rest of the rolls. Ensure that you leave enough space for the roll to rise again and also during baking.

9. Once all the rolls have been tied and prepared, cover and let it final proof for 20 minute or until it is light and airy when gently touched.

This dough is a wet dough and the time it takes for it to proof again shouldn't take too long especially during summer, so make sure that you do not leave it out too long otherwise it can over proof (this can cause the roll to collapse during baking)

10. Lightly dust the top of each roll with baker's flour and bake in the pre heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top turns golden in color.

11. Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the pumpkin rolls on to a wire rack to slightly cool.

While the rolls are still slightly warm (not hot), cut and pull the strings out. Leave to fully cool or eat them warm!

Alternatives: If you want an easier handling dough, you can add all the ingredients together, place the dough into a lighted dusted bowl, wrap and place the dough in the fridge to bulk proof at temperature between 4 -5°C overnight for roughly around 12 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Remove the cold dough from the fridge the next morning, portion and string, then leave on to the tray to final proof before baking. The rolls will take longer to final proof but would be much easier to handle and will have a better flavor as well.


For the Sweet Pumpkin Spread

Place the left over pumpkin jam and 30% sugar to the quantity of pumpkin puree over a non stick deep pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugars have fully melted then sprinkle a teaspoon of corn flour and gently whisk to combine.

Transfer to a heat proof spatula and continue to gently stir until the water has slightly evaporated and the mix starts to thicken slightly. Stop cooking once it starts to thicken slightly. Transfer into a clean bowl and place a cling film touching the surface.

The Jam will thicken further as it cools. Set aside until ready to use.

Note: Do not mix too vigorously as this can cause the sugar to recrystallize and creates lumpy sugar crystals in the spread.

Alternatively, add some orange zest for the extra zing!


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