This week has been defined in tube strikes and saying farewell to lovely Inge who has returned to the sunny shores of New Zealand after her time here came to a close. Visiting Inge on Monday night with clothes strewn everywhere and things she was still deciding to keep or leave behind beyond her large suitcase.
It all reminded me that moving countries involves so much time, effort and stress, but in those last twenty four hours all you can think about is what you’ll carry to the other side and what you’ll do once outside the plane.
Tuesday arrived with the Tube beginning in the mid evening so catching the train an hour prior meant it felt similar to a ghost town. London is known for its Tube, its as apart of this city as Big Ben so for it to suddenly be shut down in the central city it has meant fuller streets and grumpier people trudging the pavement trying to get to work.
I’ve been walking from my home the 4.4 miles to work in just over an hour, the fact Hyde Park is on the trail helps as usually in the tube darkness you don’t get to see people walking their dogs or the hoards of riders on their bicycles, its been a nice, if not slightly sore change. The count down is on to the comfort of the tube and my regular commute, something that may have to wait another week.
Pumpkin is a regular feature of winter in my home as the soup is the easiest thing to whip up, even after work so I found another way to incorporate it into baking and the flavor isn’t too strong, however, if you love pumpkin as much as I than feel free to add another 1/4 cup to the dough.
Pumpkin Spice Rolls
1 package instant dry yeast
1 cup milk, lukewarm
4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 small eggs
60 grams/2.1 ounces butter, melted
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
50 grams/1.7 ounces butter, soft
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
30 grams/1 ounce butter
1 2/3 cups confectioner’s/icing sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons milk
Cook approximately 3/4 cup pumpkin cubes in a 1/4 cup water on high until soft, approximately 10 minutes. Drain the water and puree with a stick blender. Set aside to cool.
Place the milk and yeast in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
Add in the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, pumpkin, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and stir until well combined. Dust your work surface lightly with flour and knead until smooth.
Set aside in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Roll out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle and spread the softened butter over, with a 1 inch gap around the edge. Mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together, sprinkle over the butter evenly. Then scatter the pecans evenly.
Roll as tightly as possible, sealing the ends with a little water to hold together.
Slice into 12 rolls and place 1/2 inch apart in greaseproof baking trays. Allow to stand at room temperature for an hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C/375F. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden on top.
Remove and allow to cool fully.
Place all the frosting ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined and smooth.
Spread over each cooled bun.
Serve slightly warm.