2 packages active dry yeast (1/2 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 cup (about 110 degrees…uncomfortable to the touch) water
3/4 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned (you can also roast and puree butternut squash or yams for delicious results, too)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
In the microwave in a small glass bowl, scald your milk for about 3 minutes. Remove from microwave. Add in the 6 tablespoons of butter, stir until melted. Then add in both sugars and pumpkin puree. Place this mixture in the bowl of your electric mixer.
In another small bowl add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar, to that add the 1/4 cup of hot water. Gently stir and allow the mixture to puff up (or proof). Once the yeast mixture looks foamy and puffy (about 3 minutes) add to the pumpkin mixture in the mixing bowl, add the egg. Now gradually add in the flour, one cup at a time. The dough should be soft, but pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the flour for about 1 more minute and form into a round ball. Place the dough ball in a lightly greased glass bowl, covered, and put in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 1 hour.
Once the dough has doubled, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, punch the dough down. Divide the dough and roll each half into a long rope. Cut each rope into 20 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a small ball. Place the rolls to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside, in a warm environment, until they have doubled again and look light and puffy.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees f. Bake one pan at a time. Bake each pan for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and brush each roll with a little bit of butter. Serve hot or at room temperature.