DJ O’Connor’s Mom’s Squash Rolls

posted in: Grains, Recipes, vegetarian | 14


Thanks DJ, for sharing your mom’s recipe for squash rolls. DJ writes in an email that his mom makes these every Thanksgiving: “Oh and they don’t really end up tasting like squash, which is a major plus because they’re made from freezer squash, which is a cheap replacement for syrup of ipecac if you don’t have any handy.” Had to look that one up too–syrup of ipecac is a gag-inducing serum. Thanks!

Now if I were in a slightly more experimental mood, I might try his mom’s recipe using fresh squash, perhaps roasted and mashed. But since this is my first submit-your-recipe post after all, I decided to be faithful.

Well, almost. It turned out yours truly had no milk in her fridge, so she ended up using a little more butter than called for, and the whole package of frozen squash to make up for missing liquid (rather than half, keeping with her formula of making half the recipe that DJ described). This was, as I had been warned, a time-consuming task because of the 1 hour and 45 minutes spent letting the dough rise before baking. So I took the liberty of leaving the house, going to see a friend perform a gig in the city, and coming back home to a well-risen (and slightly dried out) ball of dough. But enough ado, here is the original recipe.


DJ’s Mom’s Squash Rolls
(Makes about 20 rolls)

1 package frozen cooked squash
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 tspn salt
1 package (about 2 1/3 tspn) yeast
flour (see below for amount)

Put butter/margarine, milk, sugar and salt in a microwaveable bowl and heat until scalded. (I brought to a boil on a stovetop since I don’t have a microwave.) Add thawed, but cold and drained package of squash to the milk mixture to cool it down. Add about two cups of flour and stir thoroughly. In a small cup or bowl, combine 1/2 cup very warm water with yeast and a pinch of sugar. Add yeast and stir thoroughly. Continue adding flour (3 cups or so depending on how moist squash is) until you can no longer stir with a spoon. Knead dough on a floured surface, adding flour until no longer sticky. Place in a well-greased bowl and turn over once so grease gets on both sides. Cover with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour until risen to double.

Punch down dough and form into small balls (I made eight of them using half of this recipe). Cover again and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake in 400-degree oven for 15 minutes or until tops are golden.

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Cost Calculator
(for 20 rolls)

1 pkg cooked squash: $1.29
1 cup milk: ≈ $0.40
1/3 cup butter: ≈ $0.25
1 pkg yeast (at $2.59 for pack of 3): $0.86
About 5 cups flour, salt, sugar: ≈ $0.30

Total: $3.10

Health Factor

Three brownie points – Even though it was frozen, the nutritional information on the back of the squash package indicates it has 100% Vitamin A for the day, and 30% Vitamin C. That’s a lot of orangey goodness.

14 Responses

  1. Yvo

    But did they taste good???

  2. Cathy

    I wasn’t sure anyone was going to notice that I forgot to comment on the taste, so thanks…they were really mild, light and fluffy on the inside, and tasted really good warm. It didn’t taste like squash at all, just mildly sweet.

  3. […] DJ O’Connor’s Mom’s Squash Rolls […]

  4. Kaye

    Hello, I am thinking of having a pop at this. Could you let me know roughly how big the pack of squash is that you are using? We just don’t get precooked squash over here in Ireland.

    Love your blog.


  5. cathy

    Thanks! I was using a 12 oz package of cooked squash that looks about 5 inches x 7″ x 2″ (sorry for the American measurements). I hope it goes well!

  6. dj


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  10. Jodi

    I’m excited to try this recipe! However, I am going to be experimental and use fresh squash. Do you think patty pan squash would work for this recipe? I have an abundance in my garden and am looking for good alternatives. Also, can these rolls be frozen for later use?

  11. victoria

    Just started reading your book, was thinking of trying to makes these, and had a question about how long the dough should rise. I think your website confirms it is 1 hour but in your book top of page 26 says one hour and midway down 31 says 2 hours. i guess its not a huge difference, but just wasn’t sure. Anyways loving the book so far. It’s a very fun read!

  12. Jessica

    Just read a bit of your book while at the beach with DJ and his family this weekend. Great stuff! I had the pleasure of eating some of his mom’s food, no squash rolls unfortunately, but I will attest to the fact she is a great cook!

  13. ladysonia

    Well im a student in college trying to become a nurse… not much to say about that except that I love chemistry… and naked bodies too haha! If you want to help me study for biology let me know. Great blog!

  14. Alison

    Oh. My. Goodness. I just bought your book on a whim while skimming through Barnes and Noble, and it’s already inspired me. I made these rolls tonight, also as my first foray into bread (or baking in general really) with much success! I was even forced to use fresh squash since my local grocer did not have it frozen, so it was that much more rewarding. So as a new fan and new diy-er, THANK YOU!

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