5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2 packages active dry yeast or fast rise yeast (5 1/2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup unsalted butter, melted,divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water (130 degrees F)
2 cups pumpkin puree (one 16-ounce can)
3 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour, the dry milk, yeast, 1/2 cup of the sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and salt; mix well.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the water.
Add the pumpkin and 2 teaspoons of the pumpkin pie spice.
Beat at low speed with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl often.
Gradually beat in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding flour as necessary.
Wash the bowl, grease it, and place the dough into the bowl; turn the dough over to grease the top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 to 50 minutes (rising time will be less with rapid-rise yeast).
Lightly grease a 10-inch tube pan.
In a small, shallow bowl, combine the remaining sugar with the remaining pumpkin pie spice.
Punch down the dough and divide into thirds.
Turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and shape each third into a smooth 18-inch rope; then cut each rope into 18 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
Dip each ball in the remaining melted butter and roll in the sugar mixture.
Arrange 18 balls in the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with one third of the nuts.
Top with another layer of 18 balls, staggering the balls, and sprinkle with one third of the nuts.
Repeat with the remaining balls and nuts.
Cover the pan lightly and let rise in a warm place, about 45 minutes until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
Serve warm, breaking apart the bread with two forks.
Makes 12 to 16 servings.