Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Rolls (and Bread)

Tonight's post is kind of two ideas in one. First, adding pumpkin to just about any kind of bread is a good idea. I peel and seed the pumpkin, chop it, and boil it in water for about 30 mins until it is soft. I then drain it and blend it in a food processor until very smooth. I have found that this puree can be subbed in for water in bread recipes, almost cup for cup. Start by simply replacing the water with the puree, then add in more as needed. It gives the bread a wonderful light orange/yellow colour and makes it tender and moist.

Second, I give you mini buns. Not really a ground-breaking idea, I know, but hear me out. This year the boys' school changed to something called the equal day. Instead of two recesses and a lunch break, the kids get two 40 min "nutritional breaks," one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This makes packing food a little more interesting, but I have had great luck with these mini buns. The recipe is Peter Reinhart's Italian bread recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice: the starter is made as per the book, but the final dough is made with whole wheat flour, and the water is replaced with pumpkin puree. Each bun weighs 50 grams, is brushed with soy milk after rising, and is baked at 400 degrees for 14 mins. The great thing about these is that there is no crust to leave behind, so the kids gobble them all up, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I make 40 of them at a time (double batch of dough), freeze them, and pull them out as I need them throughout the week.