Honey pumpkin dinner rolls are the perfect fluffy twist on classic dinner rolls. They’re soft and fluffy, easy to make, and perfect for feeding a crowd. I always make room on my thanksgiving table for these perfect rolls! Serve with salted butter, honey, and cranberry sauce for the ultimate experience.
How to make honey pumpkin dinner rolls
Even if you’re intimidated by baking bread, these honey pumpkin dinner rolls couldn’t be easier. They only require a few ingredients and even the most novice baker can make this recipe!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Flour. This recipe uses both bread and all-purpose flour. The AP flour keeps the rolls light and fluffy while the bread flour gives them structure.
- Active dry yeast. Make sure your yeast is fresh and hasn’t been hanging out for ages. The fridge is the best place to store yeast.
- Honey. Instead of sugar, honey gets the yeast nice and active and gives the rolls a slightly sweet flavor.
- Pumpkin puree. You could also swap in sweet potato puree. Make sure to use canned (or homemade) pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Milk. I used whole milk in this recipe, but you can swap 2% if needed.
- Butter. Butter added to the dough makes the rolls so soft and elastic. Make sure your butter is nice and soft before adding it.
Soft dinner rolls need a ‘rich’ dough
The crustier and chewier the bread, the less fat there is in the dough. This is known as ‘lean’ dough. Unlike bagels or crusty sourdough, soft dinner rolls need fat making it a ‘rich’ dough. The milk, butter, and egg in this honey pumpkin dinner roll recipe keep the dough nice and soft so don’t skimp on fat here!
How to make honey pumpkin dinner rolls ahead of time
If you plan to make these for Thanksgiving, there’s already a lot going on! You may not have 3 hours to dedicate to one culinary project, so let’s talk alternate options. You can prepare the dough, let it rise, shape it, and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, let the dough rise on the counter for about 2 hours and then bake. Making these ahead of time can take some of the work off your plate on the day of.
Here’s how to freeze honey pumpkin dinner rolls: Follow the make-ahead instructions and instead of refrigerating overnight, freeze the rolls in a baking pan. Once frozen, they won’t stick together anymore and you can place them in a freezer bag. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge and then rise on the counter (covered) in a baking pan for about 4-5 hours, then bake. You can also freeze the baked dinner rolls. Therefore, if you want a smaller batch, you can make the entire recipe and bake only a few fresh rolls at a time.
Making rolls without a stand mixer
I prefer to make these rolls in my stand mixer for ease, but they can be made without a stand mixer. Using a dough whisk, whisk the dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl (follow the below instructions). This is going to require a lot of elbow grease as this is a stiff dough. You’ll have to knead the dough by hand for at least 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Tips for making fluffy dinner rolls
- Make sure your milk is at the right temperature. Too hot and the milk will kill the yeast. Aim for milk at about 100 degrees F.
- Check your yeast’s expiration. Old yeast may not work, so make sure your yeast is fresh. If your yeast doesn’t get foamy in the milk, get some new yeast and start over.
- Use the right flour. This recipe specifically uses bread and all-purpose flour which keeps the rolls from being too heavy and dense.
- Use the right amount of flour. I always weigh my flour specifically and this keeps me from adding too much. Too much flour also can result in heavy and dense rolls.
- Rising time. Don’t rush the dough when it’s rising. Find a warm-ish spot in your kitchen (at least 70 F) and let the dough do its thing, especially after shaping. Dough that hasn’t risen enough will yield hard rolls.
Other Bread Recipes to Try
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