Happy Halloween! Last year I made some eyeballs and put them on delicious cupcakes but I accidentally jinxed my husband who ended up having to go to the hospital… So this year, I decided to play it safe with these pumpkin buns! Still cute and festive, right? I used my fluffy buns to make some shiitake BLT sandwiches from The Love and Lemons Cookbook. Yep, October is coming to an end which means this is the last installment of my National Cookbook Month series.
Set your ingredients in the bread machine, and put it on the dough setting. When your dough is ready, separate it into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and loosely wrap a well-oiled piece of twine (about 40 in/100 cm) around so it divides the ball into 8 sections. Tie the ends of the twine in the center, and place the ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let the dough balls rise somewhere warm for about half an hour to an hour, or until the dough double in size.
Don’t forget to stick in a pumpkin seed at the top before baking them in the oven!
Bake the pumpkin buns for 10 minutes at 320°F (160°C) and for another 10 minutes at 300°F (150°C). We’re baking them at a lower temperature so they keep their pumpkin color and don’t brown in the oven. Take them to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting the twine off.
Not going to lie, peeling the twine off can be tedious. I tied some of my dough balls too tightly so I had to slice the bread along the crease, just a little, to ease the twine out with a pair of tweezers. But look how realistic my pumpkin buns turned out!
And look how fluffy they were! I sliced two of the buns in half to use them for the shiitake BLT sandwiches.
I think I sliced my shiitake too thick because mine didn’t turn crispy in the oven, even after 40 minutes of baking. By this time a very pungent shiitake aroma was permeating my kitchen and dining room so I gave up on the crispy mushrooms.
How cute are these sandwiches? The sandwiches were absolutely delicious, as long as you don’t expect a traditional BLT. They’re full of umami from the shiitake mushrooms but they’re definitely not a BLT sandwich. They’re very tasty mushroom sandwiches. If I were to make these again, I’d add some smoked paprika to the marinade in order to give the shiitake a more bacon-like flavor! I used the leftover pumpkin buns to make myself some peanut butter and maple syrup sandwiches.