I have to confess, I am a bit of a Hearth Witch, and I have an especial knack for baking.
In case you haven't heard of it, a hearth or kitchen witch uses magic through cooking, baking, and other kitchen-based practices. Hearth-craft functions on a very basic truth: The very living of your life is a spiritual act.
I love this idea and I always try to be mindful of the thoughts, intentions, words or songs that go into the food I create for myself and my loved ones.
My Granny drew most of her power from hearth witchery, I mean when she put butter on your toast she really put butter on your toast, and she did it with love and intention. At the time I didn't fully understand, but she had a certain magic when it came to making and celebrating food. She wasn't a gourmet chef, most of the food she made was quite simple, but everything had some sparkle.
Then there was my mum, who taught me at a young age all her best tricks and tips on baking.
She had one of those worn little recipe books, and it was our eternal guide in the kitchen. It was thanks to her help that I became really passionate about baking treats that tasted amazing. She loved using simple ingredients, and I learnt a lot about how each ingredient effects the other.
I am very lucky to have learnt some of these great tips and tricks, and I want to start sharing them.
So today I'm going to share a recipe with all of you. My variation of Pumpkin Bread Rolls! This recipe was adapted from: The Domestic Gothess Blog
You can make these for a Sabbat like Samhain or Yule (Halloween / Christmas) or just whenever you want some spiced pumpkiny goodness in your life! Plus these look super cute!
Pumpkin Bread Rolls
These cute little pumpkin flavoured dinner rolls are the perfect centrepiece for an Autumn celebration!
The original recipe for this was pretty big, so I have halved it. Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising time 2 hours 15 minutes
5g (1 ½ tsp) baking yeast
80 ml (⅓ cup) milk
25 g (2 tbsp) raw sugar
240 g (1 cup) pumpkin puree (about half a small pumpkin)
1 large egg (or 1 flax egg)
255 g (2 heaped cups) Plain flour (all-purpose)
Pinch of salt
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
50 g butter (or vegan block butter)
2 Tbsp melted butter for brushing (or melted vegan butter)
sliced walnuts for stalks (sliced lengthways)
Kitchen String (to tie the buns)
How to make the pumpkin puree
1. Peel and cut your pumpkin into large slices.
2. Place on a lined baking tray and roast in the oven at around 180 degrees Celsius, until the caramelised sugars start to ooze out of the pumpkin.
3. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Once cooled use a mixer, small blender or food processor to puree the pumpkin.
How to make the pumpkin breads
1. Warm the milk using your preferred method. This is done to create a nice warm environment for the yeast to do it's thing. Remember! Yeast is delicate, so make sure not to burn the milk. If you do go too far with your milk you can add some cold milk to get it back to temperature, but don't put scalding milk in with your yeast as it will kill the yeast. This is my biggest tip to get beautiful fluffy bread.
2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together the yeast, the sugar and the milk until the yeast has dissolved. Let rest with a cover over the bowl for 5 - 10 minutes, until foamy.
3. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, followed by the egg.
4. Add the flour, salt and spices and stir to form a rough dough.
Mix on a medium speed for a couple of minutes then gradually add the butter a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.
5. Turn the mixer up to high and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. It should still be quite soft and sticky but should not be wet, if it is then you can add in a little more flour as needed.
6. Flour up your hands and transfer the dough to a floured flat surface, split the bough ball up into 5-10 small balls and set aside on two baking trays lined with baking baking paper.
7. Cover or place in a small warm enclosed space, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
8. Now to shape the buns into cute little pumpkins!
Take a long piece of cooking string and find the halfway point.
Place the half way point on top of the ball of dough and flip the whole thing over.
Pull the two pieces of string together and cross them over to create a cross on the bottom of the ball. Flip it over again and do the same thing until the ball is divided into 8 equal pieces. Tie the string at the top and cut off any excess. Make sure that you don't pull the string too tight as the dough will expand a lot as it rises and in the oven.
9. Place the shaped buns well spaced apart on the prepared trays. Cover or place in a small warm enclosed space, and set aside to rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.
Bake the buns for about 20 minutes until golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
11. Remove the buns from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes then very carefully remove the string.
12. Brush the buns generously with melted butter and push a sliced walnut into the centre of each to make the stalk.
13. Enjoy your yummy pumpkin buns! They work as a sweet or savoury treat! Best served on the day they are made. Store in an airtight container.
Whenever I am baking I try to invoke any domestic spirits that may help, and I always make sure to put on one of my Witchy playlists. I dance and sing while I bake, so make sure you do your own special rituals to make these the best buns ever! ;)
This recipe was adapted from: The Domestic Gothess Blog