The Fresh Loaf

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Liberty Hill Farm's Pumpkin Crescents

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Liberty Hill Farm's Pumpkin Crescents

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, so I thought I'd get in a quick blog entry before things get really busy... and to prove that I really do make breads once in a while. I found this recipe while searching The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook (vol. 2), for a vegetable dish to take to my sister's on Thursday. I'm Still undecided on the vegetable, by the way, but these sounded perfect for the Thanksgiving table, so I had to try them out. (I get side-tracked easily.)

My thought was, If they turn out well, I'll freeze and take them, and if not, we really don't need the extra starch anyway. Well, I'm taking them, and I kinda hope they don't all get eaten, because I'm already thinking they'll make a mighty fine bread pudding. I think the dough would be good for other things too---like warm caramel pecan sticky buns.... Okay, enough of that! Time is running out, and I have to decide on a vegetable.

Pumpkin Crescents
makes 3 dozen rolls

2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter [the recipe calls for shortening]
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
more butter, softened

This is how I put the dough together:
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, then mix with the pumpkin, sugar, egg and salt. Add half the flour, and then as much more as needed, a little at a time, kneading until a firm, elastic dough forms. Add the butter in small pieces and continue kneading until it disappears and incorporates into the dough. Add a little more flour if the dough becomes too soft and sticky (you're going to have to roll this out later).

Round the dough and place into a greased bowl. Let rise until double. (The recipe says about 1 hour in a warm place, but that's not likely with only one package of yeast---mine took 2-3 hours.)

Deflate the dough and divide into 3 equal portions. Round each piece and let rest 20-30 minutes. Roll out into 12" circles, and spread with the softened butter. (It will take around 2 tablespoons per circle.) Cut each into twelve wedges---a pizza cutter works best for this. Cut a small notch in the center of the curved edges. Stretch each triangle from the curved edge to the narrow point, and then widen the curved edge to open the notch by pulling out from the other two corners. Roll up, beginning from the notched edge. Place the rolls on lightly greased sheet pans, with the points tucked underneath, and curve into a crescent shape. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 400F for 14-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Adapted from the recipe by Liberty Hill Farm, Rochester, VT


pixielou55's picture

Thanks for posting this. I am going to make these. I can't stop thinking abou them. They are a work of art - never thought of putting pumpkin in crescents.

Did I say they look marvelous? Can't wait until I can try these things.


tabasco's picture

Yum! Debra, 

Your crescent rolls look wonderful!  What a fun adaptation for fall 'country house weekend' breakfasts.

I'm going to try to adapt these to my Zoji bread machine.  I think there must be a way to make a reasonably nice croissant dough in it (at least up to a point).  Thanks again.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Thanks Judy!  The Zo would be a perfect mixer for this. I would have used mine, but I made the full batch (a little over 3 pounds of dough), and my machine works best with 2 pounds. Just use 2/3 of everything, except I think you could use the whole egg and reduce the water by a tablespoon or so. Enjoy!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Thanks Nancy! The pumpkin is subtle, but you can taste it. These were the prettiest ones I could find to photograph---some look more like bow-ties, and a couple unfurled because I didn't get the tips tucked far enough underneath. There is a learning curve to the shaping, but it is quick and easy, once you get the hang of it. And no matter how they look, they'll taste great :-)

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I wish I'd looked at this post yesterday, a neighbour gave me a pumpkin he'd grown and I didn't know what to do with it. Still don't ... 

The rolls look stunning!


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Thanks Mary!  Here's a recipe I've been wanting to try for a while, but I never seem to have a pumpkin :-)

Click here: Roasted Pumpkin with Shallots and Sage

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Well, there were 20 people at the Thanksgiving meal, and about 20 less rolls at the end. Considering all the other breads and starches on the buffet, I think they went over quite well. But, I was happy to have a few leftover to bring home and experiment with.

While perusing the refrigerator the next day for lunch options, I couldn't help but notice that the leftover turkey brats staring at me from the top shelf, were about the same length as these crescents. Coincidence or destiny? Yum! What a nice combo.

Yesterday was bread pudding day. Bread pudding is something I really like.... sometimes.... depending on who makes it. I haven't been happy with any of the recipes I've tried in the past---too eggy, or too sweet, too spicy, or just too... something. I looked up several different recipes and found that they vary WIDELY in ratios of bread, milk/cream, eggs and flavorings, so I decided to make it up as I go along.

I started with 4 cups bread cubes (5 of these rolls), and went conservative on the milk and eggs. I wanted to keep it simple---a formula I can scale up or down easily with the amount of bread I have. It worked out to my liking, so here's the ratio I have settled on:

For each 2 cups of bread:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg

For sweet bread pudding, add to the above:

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste, depending on whether this will be served plain, or with a sweet sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • Pinch of nutmeg (or to taste)
  • Add-ins as desired


Tonight, I'm going to try a savory bread pudding with sage and cheese. This "master recipe" is still a work in progress, so there may be a separate blog entry at some point in the future. Stay tuned...   -dw

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

Well I DID make a few (can't spare eggs, the hens have stopped laying) because I realised that I could leave the dough overnight, bake them in the morning and take them to an American friend in the afternoon. 

She was having her official Thanksgiving supper on Saturday and had made soda pumpkin bread on Thursday but this is what she mailed:

The croissants were DEEEEEEEEEElicious. thank you.  They were our breakfast treat this morning. ... Many thanks for the effort and most of all for thinking of me.  It's much appreciated (more than you'll know!)

So that was a genuine American appreciation and I felt like a million dollars!

The half pumpkin which was left I made into a pie, eggless, with ground ginger, tonight. Spouse said he didn't like pumpkin pie but he had some from politeness and thoroughly enjoyed it! The only ones he's had before were made with canned pumpkin.

I wish I'd not been so profligate, I'd have liked to try the sage recipe :-(  However, I've put the recipe in a safe place against the day, thank you!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

So glad your friend enjoyed them. These are rich enough from the butter alone, that I'm sure you wouldn't really miss the eggs that much if you were to swap them for an equal volume of water. The rolls may not rise quite as high without eggs, but I'm sure they'd be very tasty.

Home grown eggs---I'm jealous! And they probably have those deep orange yolks that make the best yellow cakes :-)


pixielou55's picture


I made these wonderful morsels on Thursday. This recipe is a keeper!

I was too anxious and didn't take the time to roll them out right - just spread them with my fingers and free-formed them. Not pretty like these are, but they were delicious.

With the extra pumpkin I made my pumpkin bread I'm trying to perfect that I'm putting cream cheese in - boy is it moist.

Thanks again.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

This recipe is a keeper. Glad you liked them too. Please report back when you get that cream cheese pumpkin bread perfected---that sounds good  : )