These buns are of course best while still warm, tied in a dish towel. Serve during a picnic with portions of thyme butter, wrapped separately in baking paper.
200g (7oz) pumpkin (winter squash), peeled, in cubes
125ml (approx. 4fl oz/⅔cup) milk
30g (1oz/¼stick) butter
1 sachet yeast (7g/¼oz/2¼tsp)
300g (10oz/2cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
250g (8oz) aged cheese, grated: reserve a little for the garnish
pinch of salt
1handful of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to garnish, briefly roasted in the pan
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/ Gas 4). Grease a baking tray with olive oil and arrange the pumpkin on it. Sprinkle with the chilli and ground paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Bake the pumpkin until done, (approx. 30 minutes). Leave to cool. Purée in a food processor and blend in the other ingredients. Carefully add the milk, maybe you won’t need all of it, maybe alittle more, depending on the pumpkin’s moisture content. Continue to knead into a pliable dough. Grease a bowl with some oil and place the dough ball in it. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for an hour in a warm draft-free place. Thoroughly knead the dough again and divide into approx. 16 equal portions. Shape into balls and place on a greased baking tray. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for approx. 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), brush the buns with alittle water and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and reserved cheese. Bake the buns until done and golden brown in approx. 30 minutes. Serve with thyme butter.