No-knead Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Last day of October and I’ve got a pumpkin recipe in just under the wire.

Though, truth be told, I made these a couple of weeks ago and took them in to the newsroom for election night, hoping the sugar rush would keep us all going through the tight deadlines and late night. With so many people voting and such a crazy race right up until the end, most of us stayed later than we ever have for an election. I can’t remember ever covering one as interesting and found myself watching the results roll in live as if it was some sort of TV show.

Anyway, back to the rolls.

They’re no-knead. Sensing a theme here? First no-knead pizza dough (if you haven’t tried this, please bookmark it, so very worth it) and then no-knead bread and now no-knead cinnamon rolls. God only knows what will be next, but I am loving this trend.

Once again, it takes some planning since it takes more time for these to rise. The recipe suggests, though, you can let them rise then refrigerate overnight and continue the next day, which is exactly what I did and it worked like a charm. Sure, there were some paranoid moments, like when I cut them into slices and let them rise in the pan prior to baking but couldn’t discern they actually rose a second time. I didn’t have much hope when I put them into the hot oven, but they came out all fat and puffy, shouldering each other in neat little rows.

I gave two to some friend who had popped by with her new baby since she was in the ‘hood and she texted me seemingly minutes after leaving to say she had eaten them both already and was tempted to lick the plastic wrap. That, my friends, is a pretty good endorsement.

The dough is beyond sticky and please learn from my misstep by using a really big bowl. I had a difficult time incorporating all the flour in my small-ish bowl (which felt big before I combined the wet and dry ingredients) and eventually had to dive in with my hands. Let me repeat: beyond sticky. (But, you know, kind of fun at the same time.)

But beyond that, it was pretty easy to work with once it came time roll out and, uh, roll up again. Some of my filling leaked out the edges. Obviously, I’m no expert at cinnamon rolls. But I’ll take ugly and tasty any day. And man are these tasty. I mean, really, how can you go wrong? pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, glaze? Yeah, it’s all good.

So, this is kind of short and sweet but if I don’t post this soon, I’m going to miss my Oct. 31 deadline.

In short: these are good, pumpkin-y and easy. Enjoy.

No-knead pumpkin dough

Misshapen rolls

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Glaze

Glazed pumpkin cinnamon rolls

This comes from the folks over at the Kitchn, like quite a few recipes I’ve posted here. It’s almost to the point where I’m wondering if I need to create a tag for them . . . .

The only change I made was I omitted the pecans. I’ve got nothing against them but was just too lazy to get them out of the freezer, toast and chop them. Oh, and I didn’t use as much milk in the glaze which is why, I’m pretty sure, it’s so much thicker. Not that anyone was complaining.

No-Knead Pumpkin Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze
Makes 16-18 rolls

For the dough:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups pecans – toasted, chopped, and divided in half (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted. Combine this with the sugar in a large heat-proof mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let the milk mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch – NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin. Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, stirring until all the flour has been absorbed. Squish it between your hands if you’re having trouble incorporating the last of the flour. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flower.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. During this time, it should double in bulk. At this point, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands.

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top.

Rub a tablespoon of soft butter into the bottom of two 9×13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that’s been refrigerated.

About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Remove from heat and strain into a mixing bowl to remove any sugar clumps. Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave.

  6 comments for “No-knead Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. October 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    droooool. i have been waiting to see these since you mentioned them on twitter! this seems like a project for next weekend. i can’t wait!

  2. October 31, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Brown sugar glaze! File that under the obvious but never tried.

  3. November 2, 2010 at 5:44 am

    These look gorgeous! It’s such a shame you can only buy pumpkin in the UK around Halloween time.

    I just did a whole week of pumpkin recipe posts and am kicking myself that I didn’t think of doing pumpkin cinnamon rolls – I’ll have to wait til next year!

  4. Lucas
    November 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    First off I love this blog. My wife avoids the kitchen at all costs and I couldnt live without it. I know this is a blog, but I have a request. I love pumpkin like you love lemon (and Shoes) Do you have any great recipies for a pumpkin soup.

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