My favorite way to use up winter squash is to make these Squash Dinner Rolls! This recipe came from a Mennonite woman who brought these along to a lunch gathering. They are scrumptious and can easily be swapped out for pumpkin!

squash dinner rolls on a silicone mat and baking sheet

I will literally can or freeze any type of winter squash for these dinner rolls! Don’t have any canned squash or pumpkin? Roast or boil your squash until it’s tender then simply puree it! Love squash? Make our Zucchini fritters!

Dinner Rolls

Fall is here and that means many of you have winter squash to can, freeze, or cook! I’ve got the perfect recipe for you! Make these dinner rolls from garden-fresh squash or if you’re like me you probably already have a bag of frozen or canned squash sitting around. I was never really big on dinner rolls besides the Costco ones, but are these a fluffy treat!

These golden yellow rolls get their hue from the winter squash and canned pumpkin will work just as good! I was introduced to squash dinner rolls from the Mennonite ladies who love to serve rolls with butter and homemade jam! It’s become a family favorite along with green beans. You cannot detect any squash flavors in these but if you’re wanting to add extra fiber to your diet consider these.

I know this recipe makes a huge batch, and many Mennonite women know how to be frugal and take shortcuts like freezing the majority of these rolls for many dinners to come. So trust me, it’s not an error that this recipe makes 80 rolls! Besides, if you’re getting any mixing bowls dirty then might as well make enough for a crowd! These moist and soft rolls can easily become a family staple bread like it has for us! A huge thanks to Margaret K, for sharing these delicious Pumpkin rolls that I’ve altered with squash because any mashed winter squash works for this recipe.

How to Make Squash Dinner Rolls:

Squash Dinner Rolls

Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 80 rolls
Author: Alyona’s Cooking
My favorite way to use up winter squash is to make these Squash Dinner Rolls! This recipe came from a Mennonite woman who brought these along to a lunch gathering. They are scrumptious and can easily be swapped out for pumpkin!

Equipment

  • sheet-pans
  • 18-quart mixing bowl
  • silicone mats

Ingredients

Dinner Rolls:

  • 4 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 4 cups canned pumpkin or squash*
  • 16 cups flour

Instructions

How to make Squash Dinner Rolls:

  • winter squash dinner rolls batter made with a hand mixer and pureed butternut squash
    In a large mixing bowl dissolve the first three ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients reserving 10 cups of flour. Beat with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.
  • squash dinner rolls dough in a large mixing bowl
    Knead in the reserved flour until soft and slightly tacky.
  • squash dinner rolls that have been risen and punched down
    Let rise for 45 minutes in a warmed oven or until doubled. Punch down and let rise again for 50 min.
  • Form into 80 balls (by cutting the dough into four equal pieces then each piece into 20 pieces.) Place rolls side by side onto a sheet pan and let rise until doubled (20 min.)
  • rolled and risen squash dinner rolls on a baking sheet
    Bake at 325°F for 15 min on the bottom rack. Brush hot rolls with melted butter if desired.

Notes

Squash- any winter squash can be used including acorn, butternut, or pumpkin. Fresh squash must be cooked then pureed or simply buy canned pumpkin or squash. 
To Roast Squash: Wash and slice the squash in half lengthwise. Arrange onto a baking sheet and roast open for 1 hour or until flesh is fork-tender. Scoop out of skins and puree with a little water until smooth. One small butternut squash equals about 1 cup of puree. 
Altitude: depending on your elevation you may need more flour. Add an Additional 2-3 cups of flour if your elevation is over 65′. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1rollCalories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 93mgPotassium: 64mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 761IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 1mg

Q&A

How to cook Squash for dinner rolls?

Canned pumpkin is already pureed and ready to use. If making these rolls with fresh garden squash you’ll have to either roast them or boil them until tender. This is typically done with the skins on. Here’s how;

  • Wash and slice the squash lengthwise.
  • Remove the seeds using a spoon.
  • Place into a kettle or roasting pan. If cooking in a pot, pour 2-inches of water to the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. and cook until tender. If roasting in the oven put face up and bake until tender.
  • Scoop the flesh out of the skins and puree with a little water until smooth.

Instant Yeast or Dry Active Yeast?

This recipe calls for dry yeast, although wet yeast can be used too. There are two types of dry yeast;

Active Dry Yeast- has to be activated or awakened by warm liquid.

Instant Dry Yeast- can be used directly into doughs without the need for dissolving or activating beforehand.

How to shape Dinner Rolls?

Dinner rolls are typically shaped into balls then placed into a baking dish or sheet pan to further rise for soft and fluffy rolls. Here’s how to shape them:

  1. Divide the dough into smaller portions using a bench scraper.
  2. Score the dough to give you equal pieces. Doing this also allows you to remark any piece.
  3. Cut the dough.
  4. Shape the dough into balls (there are 2 ways to make dinner rolls either pinch down the seams or push the dough through your finger and thumb.)

What to serve with Squash Dinner Rolls?

Dinner rolls aren’t only for dinner! These squash rolls are like traditional rolls only with a tint of color and extra fiber so you won’t detect any squash or vegetables in them! Here are some creative ways to serve this bread;

How long to knead the dough?

This recipe makes a huge batch (80 rolls) so invest in a huge 18-quart mixing bowl and expect to do some hand kneading unless you have a commercial mixer. But no worries kneading by hand can take as quick as 5 minutes or more. I only knead my dough until it’s soft and slightly tacky. Pounding or whacking dough can also help bring out the gluten. I recommend a bread flour in this case as big portions can be hard to knead thoroughly.

How to prevent the bread from sweating?

Homemade bread can sweat if it’s baked on parchment paper or directly in the pan which is why moving it to a cooling rack is essential. However, if you invest in some silicone mats you can leave the rolls to cool right in the pan since silicone won’t sweat your bread! My macaron mats even work for this as it’s the same quality!

Can I freeze Dinner Rolls?

Yes! This batch feeds a crowd so leftovers are likely! I like to freeze my baked rolls for easier serving later. However, if you wish to freeze your dough balls prior to baking simply shape into balls and flash freeze. Then transfer frozen dough balls into a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Long periods of freezing can kill the yeast.

When ready to use simply proof or thaw in a warm place until tripled in size.

What flour to use?

These dinner rolls make 80 buns! So unless you have commercial equipment you’ll need to knead by hand. Kneading by hand can be hard work and since such a mass of dough is being made it can be hard to thoroughly knead or bring out the gluten. I recommend an enriched type of flour like bread flour in this case. Although all-purpose flour will work too! Flours like Patent flour or Occident flour are also good choices.

Tips for Squash Dinner Rolls:

  1. Cook, roast, and puree fresh winter squash first.
  2. Buy canned pumpkin or squash!
  3. Use a bench scraper.
  4. Say good-bye to wet rolls! Silicone mats won’t sweat your dough!

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2 comments

    • Mike

    Wow, 80 rolls! Just two people here. Would cutting it down to 1/4 be a reasonable experiment?

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Hi Mike, Yes that’s correct, but I’ve been taking some out of the freezer there and here so it’s serving us well. To scale down to 1/4 of the recipe you’ll need;
      1 Tbsp yeast
      1/4 cup warm water
      1/4 tsp sugar
      1/4 cup oil
      3/8 cup sugar (just over 1/3 cup)
      3/4 tsp salt
      1 egg
      1/4 cup milk
      1/4 cup hot water
      1 cup canned pumpkin or squash
      4 cups flour

      Makes 20 rolls.

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