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This pumpkin shaped bread recipe turns classic bread rolls into soft and fluffy pumpkin buns. With just 9 ingredients, they’re easier than you think!
These pumpkin shaped bread rolls prove that fancy doesn’t have to be tricky. So, if you want a cute and unique edible centerpiece idea for your next holiday dinner party, bookmark this unbelievably easy recipe.
These pumpkin shaped bread buns are your favorite bread rolls transformed to look like pumpkins. There is no pumpkin in this recipe, but these delicious pumpkin bread rolls will surely become a hit this autumn season because they’re versatile and adaptable.
Add festivity to your Thanksgiving menu this year with these pumpkin bread buns!
What Is Pumpkin Shaped Bread?
Not to be confused with pumpkin bread, pumpkin shaped bread does not have any pumpkin in it. It’s not a quick bread loaf made with pumpkin puree; instead, it’s a bread roll shaped like a pumpkin.
So, if you’re looking for a fall baking project, this is THE recipe for you.
These pumpkin shaped bread buns are absolutely eye-catching and guaranteed to impress at your Thanksgiving dinner table or any autumn celebration. Since they also taste like classic bread rolls, you can serve them with just about anything!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: making these pumpkin bread rolls seems complicated. But no, they’re actually super easy to make, and you’ll only need 9 ingredients.
Instant yeast even saves you time, and if you don’t know where to put your dough to rise, just keep on reading.
I promise these delicious pumpkin bread buns are so simple that even children can make them.
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Shaped Bread Recipe
- Centerpiece-Worthy: Bring the wow factor to your holiday table with pumpkin shaped bread as your centerpiece! The rustic charm of pumpkin bread buns is perfect for any autumn celebration.
- Simple And Fuss-Free: Who knew that something that looks fancy can also be fun to make? You only need simple ingredients, and everything from kneading to proofing is easy enough to do with kids.
- Goes With Everything: These soft and fluffy pumpkin shaped bread rolls are delicious and can easily accompany any dish. Eat them like a pull-apart loaf with dips, or serve multiple mini pumpkin rolls to enjoy with soups.
What Do Pumpkin Bread Buns Taste Like?
So, what do these pumpkin shaped bread buns taste like? I think it’s best to describe them as a cross between a classic dinner roll and French bread.
These pumpkin shaped bread rolls, like classic bread rolls, don’t have a particular flavor on them. They taste slightly sweet, but because they don’t have a particular flavor, you can easily enjoy them with anything from sweet to savory.
They’re also soft, tender, and amazingly moist, thanks to the olive oil and milk.
Personally, I just like to slather them with butter. Garlic confit is also amazing on them! 🤤
Ingredients For Pumpkin Shaped Bread Buns
- Bread flour – Bread flour gives the best density and texture on the pumpkin shaped bread.
- Sugar – Enhances the flavor of the pumpkin shaped bread rolls and also helps with the rise time of the dough.
- Instant yeast – Our handy ingredient that makes these pumpkin bread buns ready to be enjoyed in no time.
- Milk – Helps make the pumpkin bread rolls nicely soft and moist. You can also use milk instead of an egg wash to brush your pumpkin bread before baking so it won’t come out looking pale.
- Olive oil – Tenderizes the bread and keeps the moisture in.
- Salt – Did you know this is an essential ingredient when making bread? It helps the yeast to work properly and it also plays a role in the flavor and structure of the pumpkin shaped bread buns.
- Egg – We’ll need one egg for the egg wash to give the pumpkin shaped bread an attractive, golden brown color like it just came from a bakery.
- Cinnamon sticks – Be creative here! I chose cinnamon to become my pumpkin stems.
- Pumpkin seeds – A crunchy, nutty garnish just to give the pumpkin bread buns some personality. You can also roast the pumpkin seeds in the air fryer with whatever seasoning you want.
Tools Needed To Prepare Pumpkin Bread Rolls
- Thermometer for measuring the temperature of the milk and bread
- Bowls for the ingredients
- Stand mixer for mixing the dough
- Bread towel for covering the dough
- Kitchen twine for shaping the bread rolls into pumpkins
- Parchment paper for lining the baking sheet
- Pastry brush for the egg wash coating
Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Pumpkin Shaped Bread Rolls
Olive oil substitute
For more buttery goodness on your pumpkin shaped bread buns, swap olive oil with melted butter. You’ll need 1/4 cup for this recipe.
No milk? No problem! You can just use 2 cups of water for these pumpkin shaped bread rolls.
Almond milk also works if you can’t tolerate dairy milk.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for bread rolls with herbs.
Make these pumpkin bread rolls with thyme, rosemary, or if you want it extra fancy, spread some caramelized onions into the dough before shaping it into a ball. Ugh, I can already imagine the aromas! 😋
How to Make Pumpkin Shaped Bread
- 28 oz bread flour
- 2 oz sugar
- 10 g instant yeast
- 16 oz milk
- 2 oz olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish
Tools you need:
STEP 1: Gather and measure the ingredients for your pumpkin shaped bread.
STEP 2: Heat the milk to 110ºF.
STEP 3: Mix flour, sugar, instant yeast, and warm milk using the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer for one minute. Then, add the oil and salt and mix.
STEP 4: If the dough is not sticking to the bowl, add 1/4 cup of flour to the mixture. If this does not improve the dough’s tackiness, add a tablespoon or two of water, then mix on speed 2 for about 5 minutes.
STEP 5: Do the windowpane test to check for your dough’s gluten development. It should stretch thinly without tearing. If it breaks, continue mixing the dough for 2 more minutes.
STEP 6: Knead the dough over a floured surface until you can shape it into a ball.
STEP 7: Place the dough top side down in a bowl coated with some olive oil. Then, flip the dough over and cover the bowl with a bread cloth.
STEP 8: Place the dough somewhere warm for 25 minutes to allow it to rise.
STEP 9: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
STEP 10: Divide the dough into two and shape them into smooth balls.
STEP 11: Cut the baker’s twine into four pieces and arrange them like an asterisk on the lined baking sheet.
STEP 12: Put the dough ball in the center of the “asterisk.”
STEP 13: Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water for the egg wash. Brush the dough with the egg wash.
STEP 14: Loosely tie each string around the dough to shape it into a pumpkin. Cut the excess strings.
STEP 15: Score each “section” of the pumpkin with a knife. This will keep the pumpkin shaped bread from tearing once it expands.
STEP 16: Repeat on the other dough ball.
STEP 17: Bake your pumpkin shaped bread rolls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
STEP 18: Cut the twine off, then insert cinnamon sticks in the centers of the pumpkin bread buns for their stems. You can also sprinkle them with pumpkin seeds before serving.
What To Serve With Pumpkin Shaped Bread
Like I said earlier, this pumpkin shaped bread is delicious on its own.
Slather some butter on top of your freshly baked pumpkin bread buns, and I can guarantee you’re in for a delightful experience. 🤤
If serving your pumpkin shaped bread rolls at a dinner party, you can also treat them like a pull-apart bread. The sections of the pumpkin make it easy to pull a piece, ready to be dipped in your favorite soups and sauces.
Tips About Making Pumpkin Bread Buns
- Don’t know where to put your pumpkin shaped bread to rise? Turn the oven to 170ºF, open its door, and place the bread near it. Atop your fridge or the area near the radiator are also nice and warm to help the dough rise.
- Get the best-looking pumpkin bread buns by brushing them with an egg wash and cutting wheat-shaped slashes on their sides! The former is important for an even golden brown color, and the latter adds details that make the baked buns look rustic and lovely.
- Unsure if your pumpkin bread rolls are done? Insert a thermometer into the center of the bread. The buns are finished baking at about 190°.
How To Store Pumpkin Bread Rolls
- Fridge: These pumpkin shaped bread buns will keep well at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days. Alternatively, you can store them in the fridge for one week, which means you can also make them in advance for dinners and parties!
- Freezer: You can freeze your pumpkin shaped bread rolls in a freezer-safe container for 3 months.
- Reheating: Thaw the frozen bread rolls in the fridge. From here, just reheat them until they’re warmed through in the oven. I like to heat my pumpkin shaped bread rolls for 10 minutes.
How Do You Know If Bread Dough Is Over Proofed?
Worried that you’ve over-proofed your bread dough? If it doesn’t spring back after you poke it, the dough is over-proofed.
Here’s what you can do: degas the dough by pressing down on it. Then, reshape and reproof the dough.
If you don’t want to make a bread that requires proofing, try quick bread recipes!
Here’s an easy pumpkin bread with cream cheese; this one can also become a dessert.
Is No-Knead Bread as Good as Kneaded Bread?
It’s a matter of preference. Kneaded bread is usually softer, while no-knead bread is more tender and chewy. The long fermentation period also helps with the flavor of no-knead bread.
Here’s a yummy dairy-free pumpkin bread that doesn’t require kneading!
FAQ About Pumpkin Shaped Bread
Can you use all-purpose flour for pumpkin shaped bread?
Of course! For this recipe, you’ll need 5 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
Can I use active yeast instead of instant for pumpkin shaped bread?
Instant yeast shortens the prep work for this pumpkin shaped bread recipe. If you opted for active yeast, you’ll need to proof for 90 minutes, then let the shaped dough rest for 30 minutes before you bake your bread rolls.
- Gather and measure the ingredients for your pumpkin shaped bread.
- Heat the milk to 110ºF.
- Mix flour, sugar, instant yeast, and warm milk using the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer for one minute. Then, add the oil and salt and mix.
- If the dough is not sticking to the bowl, add 1/4 cup of flour to the mixture. If this does not improve the dough's tackiness, add a tablespoon or two of water, then mix on speed 2 for about 5 minutes.
- Do the windowpane test to check for your dough's gluten development. It should stretch thinly without tearing. If it breaks, continue mixing the dough for 2 more minutes.
- Knead the dough over a floured surface until you can shape it into a ball.
- Place the dough top side down in a bowl coated with some olive oil. Then, flip the dough over and cover the bowl with a bread cloth.
- Place the dough somewhere warm for 25 minutes to allow it to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into two and shape them into smooth balls.
- Cut the baker's twine into four pieces and arrange them like an asterisk on the lined baking sheet.
- Put the dough ball in the center of the "asterisk."
- Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water for the egg wash. Brush the dough with the egg wash.
- Loosely tie each string around the dough to shape it into a pumpkin. Cut the excess strings.
- Score each "section" of the pumpkin with a knife. This will keep the pumpkin shaped bread from tearing once it expands.
- Repeat on the other dough ball.
- Bake your pumpkin shaped bread rolls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cut the twine off, then insert cinnamon sticks in the centers of the pumpkin bread buns for their stems. You can also sprinkle them with pumpkin seeds before serving.
- Where is the best place to let the dough rise? You can place it near the opened door of the oven turned to 170ºF. Another option is atop the fridge or close to a radiator.
- Get the loveliest pumpkin shaped bread rolls for your Thanksgiving dinner table by brushing them with an egg wash and cutting wheat-shaped slashes on their sides! The egg wash will give them an even golden brown color, and the slashes add details to the baked buns.
- To know if your pumpkin shaped bread buns are done, you can insert a thermometer into the center of the bread. Your bread rolls are finished baking at about 190°.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
Move over pumpkin bread. Pumpkin shaped bread is about to become the star this autumn with its fancy look and no-fuss preparation.
They might look complicated to make, but pumpkin shaped bread rolls are as easy as 1-2-3. They only need a few basic ingredients, and the instant yeast means they’ll proof faster.
The pumpkin look is easily achieved with some pieces of string and a couple of scores on the dough ball. That’s it!
If you enjoyed making these pumpkin shaped buns, try these other pumpkin treats next: