Combine the pumpkin and vanilla extract, and set aside.
Dissolve yeast and sugar in milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin mixture, margarine, salt, vinegar, nutmeg, and egg to yeast mixture; beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Stir in 2 cups flour to form a sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover dough, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Coat 24 muffin cups with cooking spray. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), divide each portion into 12 equal pieces; shape each piece into a ball. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Uncover dough; bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.
Like others, I was disappointed by the flavor - there is a distinct lack of pumpkin-y-ness in the final product. I tried adding more spices, but it still came out a bit bland. Probably won't make them again, unless I can figure out a way to pump up the pumpkin flavor. That said, the structure of the rolls themselves is perfectly fine.
These were OK and certainly have potential, but if I make them again, I will jazz them up a bit. They are soft with a great color that looks nice on the table, but have surprisingly little flavor. I like the suggestion from one reviewer to add pepitas. Definitely recommend an egg wash before baking to give the exterior more crust. I made knots instead of balls.
Fine, but seemed to need a little something -- I'd try to bring out the pumpkin flavor more -- possibly more spices or adding more pumpkin stuff. I did mine as knots, then brushed them with an egg wash and topped with chopped pepitas, which was a good inspiration.
I liked it enough to want to experiment with it some more -- It looks festive and I'm taking these rolls to thanksgiving dinner.
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