This recipe, by Michele Weiser, won third prize in The 2010 Old Farmer's Almanac Pumpkin Recipe Contest.
- 1/4-ounce pack of active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2 sticks butter
- 1 large free-range egg, beaten slightly
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or a 16-ounce can pumpkin puree
- Egg-wash made by beating 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm the milk and, add the yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar for 5 minutes or until mixture becomes frothy— this will let you know the yeast is good.
Mix up 7 cups of flour, freshly grated nutmeg, the salt, and remaining sugar. Blend in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the whole egg, pumpkin purée, and the yeast mixture. Now stir until the dough is combined well.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead. Use as much of the extra 1 cup of flour needed until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a well-buttered large bowl. Turn it to coat in butter. Cover with saran wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
Now turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into 14 pieces. Roll each piece with your palm until it measures approximately 5 inches. Fold into a knot. Place each knot onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a kitchen towel and put into a warm place. Let rise for 45 minutes or until they double again. Brush each knot with the egg-wash and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Let them cool slightly and serve with plenty of butter. Enjoy!
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