Pumpkin Cranberry Twist Rolls

I go a bit roll crazy when it comes to holidays. Probably because my mother always served them, so I've made some kind of yeast roll for every holiday dinner all through the years. My brother liked them and complimented me (no doubt because he also remembered our mother serving them), but when there is so much food on the table, rolls get lost in the turkey and trimmings shuffle every time. Is this an age thing? A calorie thing?
My kids weren't interested in them much either, although rolls are always useful in giving babies something to gum on so you can enjoy a peaceful meal. :)

After seeing the recipe on Stephanie's Girl Versus Dough (she has good step by step instructions there if you like those) and because I am such a sucker for yeast rolls, I couldn't pass up this tempting recipe. The name alone did it for me. Just look at all those fall flavors along with the pumpkin...maple syrup, cranberries, pumpkin pie seasonings, even nuts. These are good my friends, really good.

I usually make rolls in advance and freeze them. One less thing to think about. See no reason that won't work here as well (does it go without saying that all rolls are best hot out of the oven?) and while I'm not serving Thanksgiving dinner this year, there will be other meals over the holidays and I plan to serve them then. Frankly, I think they'd be divine for breakfast.

Pumpkin Cranberry Twists
From Red Star Yeast via Girl Versus Dough

4½ cups bread flour, divided 
2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) Red Star active dry yeast 
¾ cup warm water (about 110 degrees F) 
¾ cup pumpkin puree 
¼ cup maple syrup 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon salt 
¼ teaspoon allspice 
¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
¼ teaspoon ground ginger 
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup dried cranberries 
½ cup chopped pecans 
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash) 

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, stir 1 cup flour, yeast and warm water until combined. 
In a separate bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, oil, salt, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and egg until combined. 
Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir to combine. 

Using a wooden spoon or dough hook attachment, stir in remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a dough forms. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface 7-10 minutes 
until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed OR knead on medium speed with dough hook attachment 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. (My dough took a lot more flour than indicated)

Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise 1 hour in a warm place until doubled. 

When dough is doubled, punch down and knead in cranberries and pecans evenly. 

Preheat oven to 425.
Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch log. Fold each log in half, then twist both ends once, pinching seams to seal. Place twists on parchment lined baking sheets. 
Cover baking sheets with tea towels. Let twists rise until puffed, about 45 minutes. 
Brush the twists with beaten egg. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Cool slightly before serving. Makes 16 rolls.


  1. You're going to roll your eyes... but I'm thinking about a "midnight" run to the 24-hr. grocery store for yeast. I'm out, but I have everything else...

  2. HI Barbara,

    You can't beat freshly baked rolls - the pumpkin and cranberry will be a delicious combination.
    Happy weekend

  3. The flavours in these rolls sound delicious. I don't often make rolls, bread yes. Perhaps it's time to,change that . GG

  4. Homemade breads are the best! I would love a few to go with my pumpkin soup for the lunch.

  5. Lovely rolls and wonderful combination!



  6. Not interested in rolls? I am such a carb junkie that often for me bread is the highlight of any meal... with butter of course... and something like these, I would scarf them down.
    Have a lovely weekend ahead.
    *kisses* H

  7. I'm not cooking this year either, but I will bring these to the dinner for sure. Last year I brought a dessert and it was a pain coordinating getting the cake dish back. WIth these I can just bring them and be done.

    Delicious... I am seeing a great base for a bread pudding were there to be leftovers!

  8. My mother's table was never without freshly baked rolls or cornbread (I grew up in the south). These are beautiful and so festive.

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  10. I bookmarked these when Steph made them also!! Definitely need to chow down on them on the big day.

  11. During Thanksgiving, I always think of rolls as "filler food" and don't give them much attention, but the girls get FURIOUS if I don't have them, so grandma's clover-leaf-rolls are always on the menu!

  12. I have had some fun with rolls from time to time, but I'm usually too stressed to make them "day of." Freezing is a good idea.

    These sound delicious - almost like little cakes!

  13. this is how i should have used that leftover pumpkin.

  14. I love the new looks of your blog Barbara and I also love these rolls! We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Greece but who needs an excuse to enjoy these little beauties?

  15. how fancy! i feel like i wouldn't necessarily mind pumpkin in an application like this. the cranberries are a perfect touch.

  16. Barbara,
    I love anything PUMPKIN this time of year. These rolls look yummy, and cranberries are a favorite of mine.


  17. Oh to think I almost missed these heavenly rolls. Of course I won't be baking any "hand made" rolls for Thanksgiving but that's not to say I don't have some "guests" who I may try to coax into making them. All this goodness in one roll just can't be passed by.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Barbara...



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