My wife always makes some kind of pumpkin-themed food around Halloween. This year, she made these pumpkin ginger rolls.
Since we had a Japanese Kabocha left (the last 1/4 of a whole kabocha), she also included a cube of kabocha in the pumpkin rolls.
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs yeast
1 (15 oz. can pumpkin puree)
2 large eggs
4 Tbs. butter melted
1/3 cup mini diced ginger (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
For the cooked pumpkin (kobocha)
Cut the Kabocha in half inch thick slices and microwave in a lidded silicon container for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Remove the skin/rind and cut it into half inch cubes (see below).
For the pumpkin bread:
Put pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice in a sauce pan and cook on medium heat stirring constantly until pumpkin pulls away from the sides of the pan and the spices "bloom" (see below).
Let cool then add sugar, salt, eggs and melted butter. Bloom the yeast. Add the wet ingredients to the flour in a kneading mixer. Knead dough for about 2 to 3 minutes until ingredients are blended then let rest for 15 minutes.
Continue kneading, adding flour until the dough reaches a workable consistency. If adding ginger and raisins knead them in (we did not add them).
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowel. Turn the dough so it gets coated with the oil.
Cover and let rise until it doubles. Punch dough down and turn out onto a floured cutting board.
Cut dough into pieces weighing 2 1/4 oz. Add a piece of cooked kobocha pumpkin and form into a bun. Put the buns into a heavily greased baking pan.
Cover and let rise again (about 1/2 hour).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook rolls for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately after they come out of the oven.
These rolls turned out with lots of pumpkin, ginger and pumpkin spice flavors--with cinnamon leading the pack. Because of the pureed pumpkin, it came out really moist. The inclusion of cooked kabocha added a nice sweet taste and interesting texture. (next time my wife said she would add larger pieces). This may be the best pumpkin bread.