I love serving homemade dinner rolls for dinner, especially when I’m making a big meal for a big occasion, such as Thanksgiving dinner. The problem with dinner rolls is that they’re a little time consuming to make – especially if you’re going to make a big batch of rolls – because you need to shape each and every one. I am actually pretty quick at making them, but when I have a lot of other dishes to prepare, I honestly just want an easier option and that is exactly how I came to put together this No Knead Pumpkin Dinner Bread.
This bread is like a whole batch of soft, fluffy dinner rolls baked into one big loaf. It is baked in a large baking pan, just as dinner rolls might be, but without any shaping of any kind. The large, rectangular loaf and can be cut into dinner roll-sized squares for serving.
The bread dough is sweet and tender, with a very soft texture to it that makes it a good match for butter and jam. There is a small amount of pumpkin puree in the dough (it’s a good way to use up leftovers after baking pumpkin muffins) that adds sweetness and a lovely light orange color. The dough is very easy to make and even easier if you have a stand mixer. All you need to do is stir the dough together until it comes into a soft, slightly sticky ball (this will take a bit of stirring if you don’t have a mixer) and then turn it out into a greased 9×13-inch pan. The bread dough rises right in the pan and goes straight into the oven.
I topped my bread with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. You can leave yours plain if you prefer. When the bread comes out of the oven, brush the top with a little bit of melted butter to soften the top and add a little extra buttery flavor to the bread.
No Knead Pumpkin Dinner Bread
1 3/4 cups water, warm (100-110F)
5 tsp (1/2-oz) active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in yeast and sugar and stir. Let stand for 5 minutes until slightly foamy.
Add in pumpkin puree, melted butter, egg and salt and whisk to combine. Put the dough hook on the stand mixer and add in 3 cups of all purpose flour. With the dough hook on medium speed, gradually add in the remaining flour until dough comes together in a smooth, slightly stick ball. Continue to mix with the dough hook for 1-2 minutes.
If not using a stand mixer, combine ingredients as directed above in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until dough comes together until a smooth, slightly sticky ball.
Turn dough out into a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish and press into an even layer with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bread is golden and sound hollow when tapped.
Take additional 1 tbsp butter and brush on top of hot bread using pastry brush. Allow bread to cool in pan before serving.