Though it was hard to choose, I decided on the Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls. After all, I love baking yeast breads, I love pumpkin, and there is nothing more decadent than a cinnamon roll. Plus, I just had to try that gorgeous fantail look.
If you've ever made pull-apart bread before, these will be a snap to make. The only difference is that you put the pieces into muffin cups so, instead of one big loaf, you have a little mini one that can fit in the palm of your hand. So fun!
I did make a couple changes to the recipe by adding some spices to the dough as well as using brown sugar instead of white. I also used water instead of milk, but that was because I didn't have any milk in the house at the time. Still, the rolls came out fantastic. They were soft, they were fluffy, they were deliciously caramelized on the outside. Then, as the icing on the cake, or the bread, I should say, you top them off with a sweet cream cheese icing. Finally, with a roll in your hand (or maybe one in each hand), you pull off one cinnamony-sugary piece after another and put it into your mouth, savoring every bite. Although they do take some time and effort to make, they are so worth it. Mmmm, irresistible!
Thanks Barbara for one super recipe!
Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Barbara Bakes)
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour (I used all-purpose)
2 3/4 c. bread flour
1/4 c. sugar (I used 1/2 c. brown sugar)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk, warm (105F - 110F) (I used water)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 large egg
Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
Cream Cheese Icing:
3 oz. cream cheese, room temeprature
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk (I omitted this)
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Combine the yeast with the warm milk and a pinch of sugar and let sit until foamy, about 5 min. Stir in the sugar, melted butter, pumpkin puree, vanilla, salt, spices, and the egg and mix to combine. Mix in the all-purpose flour. Add in the bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until the dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 min.
Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dishwtowel, and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour (I put mine into the fridge to rise for about 4 hours).
While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon-sugar filling. Grease 12 muffin cups with butter.
After the dough has risen, punch it down. Divide it in half and roll into a 12" square. Spread half the butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar filling. Press the cinnamon-sugar into the butter.
Cut dough in to six strips, each 2 inches wide with a pizza cutter. Stack strips, buttered sides up, and cut crosswise into six 2 inch pieces with bench scraper.
Carefully place each piece, cut edges up, in a muffin cup. Separate outer layers of each roll to fan outward. Make more rolls with remaining dough in same manner.
Loosely cover muffin pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F
Bake 18 to 22 minutes until rolls are golden brown. Cover the top with foil if rolls are browning too quickly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While bread is cooling, make the icing.
For the icing: In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin pie spice and beat until incorporated. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the milk slowly, a little at a time until the icing is the desired consistency.
Drizzle icing over warm rolls or serve in bowls for dipping. Serve warm or at room temperature.