To the hot milk add the butter and sugar, stir until the butter has melted. Add pumpkin puree and salt then mix well.
Mix the yeast with the sugar and 4 tablespoons of warm water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes. When bubbled, add to the pumpkin and milk mixture (mixture should be warm, not hot). Add the egg. Stir.
Gradually add the flour combining to form a dough. The dough will be slightly sticky. Knead with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until the dough starts to lag behind on the walls of the bowl. Then put on floured bench or cutting board and kneed by hand for 1 minute. Gather into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough is ready when it has risen to approximately twice its original size.
Divide the dough in half. Each half is then cut into 15 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly in the palm of your hand. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Notch each bun 8 times, like a flower, not reaching to the centre. Push the middle down with a finger. This will give it the appearance of a pumpkin. Cover and allow to rise on the baking tray for 45 minutes.
Again push down the middle of the bun with your finger after rising. With a beaten egg and coat and bake for 10-12 minutes in an oven preheated to 180 degrees C. Cook until golden brown.
If you want the buns to be glossy, then brush them with melted butter or honey diluted with water. In each bun insert a nut as a stem (or it could be done before baking).