I have been making this recipe,which I formerly called “Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls” for years. While they were good, some would even say delicious, I decided to mix it up a bit this year and substitute squash for the pumpkin. I’ve heard that the Blue Hubbard squash is a great alternative to pumpkin because while it has a similar flavor the consistency is far smoother. Anyone who has ever cooked a pumpkin and tried to mash it knows just how stringy it can be. Don’t get me wrong, I still love cooking with pumpkin, but in this recipe the Hubbard squash simply blew the pumpkin away. —GrowCookEat
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. If it does not foam, start over with new yeast. Trust me, this step is important - there is nothing worse than dough that doesn’t rise properly.
Add the whole wheat flour, squash, milk, butter, sugar and spices. Beat with a mixer until well combined for about 2 minutes.
Now, it’s time to knead the dough. I use the bread hook on my stand mixer and it takes about 6 minutes to incorporate in 2 cups of the white flour, adding it one half cup at a time. The final half cup I prefer to knead in by hand on a well floured surface. By the end the dough will be smooth and elastic.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, or you just love kneading by hand, it will probably take you about 10 minutes. Turn the dough out on a well floured surface and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour a half cup at a time, kneading well between additions.
Place the dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. If you have a cold house like I do it can be tricky to get dough to rise properly. One way to remedy this (besides moving to a warmer climate!) is to pre-heat your oven to 200°, turn it off and then put the bowl of dough in there. It works every time.
You will know the dough is ready when you press down on it with your fingers and the indentation stays. Punch the dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, make the filling. Combine the 2 sugars, flour and spices in a medium size bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until it resembles a coarse meal.
Flour a smooth surface and roll the dough out into a 12 x 18- inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the filling. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough tightly, pressing firmly to eliminate any air pockets. Pinch the seams and ends to seal.
Cut the roll in 1-inch slices. You should end up with between 12 and 15 rolls. Place the rolls in a greased 9 x 11-inch baking pan, leaving room for them to rise. If they won’t all fit in the 9 x 11 pan use a 9-inch round cake pan or something similar for the extra rolls.
Cover the dish(es) and let rise for about 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size once again. While they are rising pre-heat your oven to 375º.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool the rolls in the baking dish(es) on a metal rack. While they’re cooling, make the glaze. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon buns. Eat and enjoy!