It's October, the month most appropriate for pumpkin appreciation. In honor of that fact, we offer a week of pumpkin-centric recipes. This one comes from epicurious.com and was originally printed in Gourmet magazine (may it rest in peace) in October 1991.
1/4-ounce package (about 2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
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3/4 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large whole egg, beaten lightly
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or a 16-ounce can pumpkin puree
An egg wash made by beating 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water
In a small bowl proof the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the milk for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy. In a large bowl combine well 7 cups of the flour, the nutmeg, salt and remaining sugar and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the whole egg, pumpkin puree and yeast mixture and stir dough until it is combined well.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, incorporating as much of the remaining 1 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a well-buttered large bowl, and turn it to coat it with the butter. Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it is double in bulk. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into 14 pieces, and form each piece into a ball. Fit the balls into a buttered 10-inch springform pan and let them rise, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until they are almost double in bulk.
Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let the rolls cool slightly in the pan, remove the side of the pan, and serve the rolls warm. The rolls may be made 1 week in advance and kept wrapped well and frozen. Reheat the rolls, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until they are heated through.