Whenever I bake butternut squash or pumpkin for puree, I bake as much as I can fit on the roasting tray. If you are going to take the time and dirty the kitchen, get as much out of the effort as possible. What I like to do is keep four or five cups of that squash puree in the refrigerator for a few days while I make some of the family favorites and try a new recipe or two.
One of the family “musts” is winter squash rolls. I have adapted this recipe a bit from Yvonne Young Tarr’s Squash Cookbook. Back in the days when I had two commercial ovens I multiplied this recipe times five and it was still outstanding. Serve these winter squash rolls as dinner rolls, turn them into small sandwiches with something like a delicate slices of ham, or simply split the roll, butter generously, and slip in slice of sharp cheddar cheese. I am happy to call this dinner.
Winter Squash Rolls Ingredients
- 2 cups milk (This is good use for milk that may be just beginning to sour.)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 package dry active yeast (1 heaping tablespoon)
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 cup winter squash puree, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 4 cups freshly ground spelt or wheat flour
- 4 cups all-purpose white flour (more, if needed)
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoon water
Winter Squash Rolls Steps
- Scald the milk in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add the butter and stir till melted.
- Add the sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve completely.
- Add the winter squash puree and lemon zest.
- Soften the yeast in the lukewarm water in a small bowl or cup.
- Add the eggs to the squash mixture and the softened yeast. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour the squash mixture into a large bowl and begin adding the flour 1/2 cup at a time beginning with the spelt flour. Continue adding flour until the dough comes away from the bowl in a lump. Dough will be soft.
- Place dough in a large oiled bowl and roll it around to coat the entire lump with oil. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and knead on a floured board for a minute or two.
- Using an oiled knife, cut the dough into two equal portions. Cut each portion into 16 equal-sized portions.
- Form balls with the dough and place them into 2 9×13 oiled baking dishes.
- Cover the rolls and allow to double in size.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Mix the egg yolk with water and brush on the golden tops of the squash rolls. Return to the oven for a moment or two. The egg mix puts that super shine on the rolls that makes them look like a classy bakery product.
- Let the rolls cool for a few moments before serving and have lots of soft butter ready.