Pumpkins in the Woods: Pumpkin Spice Bread

Pumpkin spice bread rolls

Autumn is here! So is the sudden urge to make everything and anything pumpkin-spiced, and this year i’ve been obsessing over these pumpkin spice bread rolls. It’s a universal truth that autumn brings cold weather or if you’re in the UK like me, non-stop rain. So with the change of seasons, my eating habits change too, and suddenly all i crave is big warming bowls of soup and hearty stew. What’s more perfect than to have the perfect autumn-inspired bread rolls to go with it?

Pumpkin spice and yes it can be savoury

I’m pretty sure there are other recipes for these pumpkin breads online. I highly doubt i am the first to come up with them. But i was so happy to try and develop my own recipe. Adding pumpkin spice to a bread roll recipe doesn’t make them any less savoury. Yes, i know there is maple syrup in this. But this only brings a hint of sweetness, which makes the bread rolls less yeasty and have a more depth of flavour. I’m obsessed with the amber maple syrup from Billington’s at the moment! Instead they’re beautifully fragrant as well as now having an added level of flavour that only enhances whatever you will eat with them.

Do pumpkins even grow in the woods?

As for this random food styling in the photo above- it was one of those random cases where when i thought up a recipe, i had a very specific image in my head to go with it. The idea was that the pumpkins look like they’re in a forest. do pumpkins even grow in the woods? Who knows. Van Gogh or Monet, the photo shot is not, but i had fun styling and shooting it. For those that are interested, these aren’t real leaves in the shot, i brought them from here.

On to the recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Bread Rolls

What better way to celebrate autumn vibes than with pumpkin spice bread rolls, shaped like actual pumpkins? Super cute, super delicious, they're pumpkin spiced but savoury, and go perfectly with soups and stews.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, British
Servings 6 bread rolls


  • Kitchen string


  • 1 cup lukewarm milk must be full fat!
  • 7 grams dry active yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 egg to egg wash bread rolls before baking
  • vegetable oil for greasing


  • In a mixing bowl, add butter, milk, maple syrup and yeast. Combine.
  • In another mixing bowl, combine flour, pumpkin spice and salt. These two bowls are separate partly to hydrate your yeast with the other liquids, and also because if salt is added directly to yeast, it can kill it.
  • Add the yeast/butter/milk mix to the flour mix. Combine together, until you get a sticky dough.
  • Dust your work surface with flour. Place your dough on the surface and knead it gently for 5-6 minutes. When the dough is ready, it should be smooth and push back when you poke it.
  • Grease a bowl with oil, and put the dough in it. Cover with a towel and leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until its double its original size.
  • While you are waiting, cut up the kitchen string into roughly 10-15cm pieces. You will need 24 pieces of string. Soak these in a little oil and leave to the side.
  • When your dough is done resting, take it out of the bowl and knead gently a few times.
  • Cut off a palm-size piece of the dough and keep to the side. You will need this to mold the pumpkin stems!
  • With the rest of the dough, cut this in half, and then divide each half into 3 pieces. You should have 6 pieces in total.
  • Using the palm of your hands, roll each piece into a ball.
  • Rest the dough for a further 15 minutes, making sure to cover with a towel.
  • At this point, pre-heat your oven to 190C/170C fan. Also cover a baking tray with baking paper.
  • When the dough have rested, its time to shape them into pumpkins! Take four pieces of kitchen string, and place them on a small plate in a + and X formation, to form an 'asterisk' shape.
  • Place one of the dough balls in the centre of the string and then tie strings around the ball. This should not be too tight, just gently knot the strings so they touch the outside of the dough, rather than pushing the dough in.
  • Cut off the excess string. Repeat previous step with the rest of the dough balls.
  • With the piece of dough you kept to the side for the pumpkin stems, cut this dough into 6 small pieces and using your fingers form into a small oval shape.
  • Rest dough and pumpkin stem pieces at room temperature for 30 minutes, under a towel.
  • After resting, egg wash each ball (and pumpkin stems) and its time to bake! Bake for 35 minutes, until golden.
  • When the bread rolls are done, using a butter knife, poke a hole in the centre of the bread (on whichever side of the bread is the top side). Wedge one of your pumpkin stems into the hole.
  • Now you are done! Eat with a soup, stew or on their own!


Making these bread rolls is a long process, but it is truly worth it! These are perfect for autumn, and the days you want warming bowls of soup and stews. If you prefer to not use pumpkin spice, simply omit this, they will still be delicious!
If you prefer the recipe with video and more photos- i have this same recipe in visual format in my instagram stories.
Keyword american recipes, autumn, autumn recipes, bread recipe, bread rolls, pumpkin breads, pumpkin spice, seasonal, seasonal recipes


If you make any of my recipes, please tag me at @girlwiththematcha and use the hashtag #matcha_girl, i’m always so happy to see your creations!

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