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Parker House Rolls ~ Puffy, pillowy soft and buttery, homemade Parker House Rolls are easy to make and even easier to eat!
This post first appeared on Recipe Girl where I am a contributor and occasionally share delicious recipes!
This simple, rich roll is lightly sweet and buttery, and folded in half in the famous Parker House style. The Parker House Hotel in Boston is known for both Parker House Rolls and the Boston Cream Pie creations still popular today. The original Parker House Rolls were created back in the 1870’s then made even more famous in the 1890’s when published in Fannie Farmer’s cookbook, which is also still popular today. While this may not be their original famous recipe, it’s an absolutely wonderful yeast roll that will surely please family and friends.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot resist yeasty, buttery rolls warm from the oven. If you’ve never made your own yeast rolls, perhaps this simple recipe can be your first. With make-ahead and freezable instructions included, there’s no reason you can’t be the hero of the holiday get togethers! This recipe is actually very forgiving and hard to mess up. Don’t worry if your rolls are not all perfectly shaped, that gives them character!
Homemade rolls are one of our families favorite treats. This recipe can be made easily with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, but also kneaded by hand if desired. They have a terrific flavor, not at all bland like some simple yeast roll recipes can be. Maybe it’s the butter that gives them that incredible, rich flavor. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add more butter when they get to the table!
I can’t wait until you try some leftover holiday turkey with a dab of mayonnaise on one, or two, of these delicious dinner rolls. These Parker House Rolls make the best little leftover turkey sandwiches! I kinda think it’s worth it to make these just for the leftovers. If you have out-of-town company for the holidays, these rolls will be a memorable treat for sure. Pack a few for their trip home and be sure to share the recipe with them too! That is IF there’s any leftover after dinner. In fact, now that I think about it, it might be a good idea to double the recipe. Yes, you are very, very welcome!
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Puffy, pillowy soft and buttery, homemade Parker House Rolls are easy to make and even easier to eat!
- 1 1/4 cups warm whole milk (110 degrees on an instant read thermometer)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (plus about 6 tablespoons extra melted butter for brushing on rolls before and after baking)
- 1 large egg
- 4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus 2 tablespoons if needed)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast (1 package or 3/4 ounce)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Vegetable oil for greasing the bowl
- Vegetable oil spray
- In a 4-cup measuring cup, with a spout if you have it, combine the warmed milk, melted butter, and the egg. Whisk until blended.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour in the milk mixture and blend until a dough forms, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. After 4 minutes of mixing you can add the additional flour if needed, one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom. You may not need this additional flour depending on humidity, moisture in the butter, etc.
- Scoop the dough out onto a lightly floured, clean work surface. Knead to form a smooth round ball of dough. Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled, clean bowl. Cover with a lightly sprayed piece of plastic wrap and place in a warm location to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and have a pastry brush on hand.
- Place the risen dough on a lightly floured work surface and divide into two equal parts. Place half the dough back in the bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Working with the remaining half, pull and stretch the dough into a smooth and even 12-inch log. Cut the dough into 12 equal size pieces. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll into a smooth, tight ball using the palm of your hand. Cover the dough balls with the lightly greased plastic wrap while forming the rolls.
- Use a small rolling pin or your hands to flatten each dough ball into an oval (about 4-inches long) with a depressed middle (higher on the sides). Lightly brush the center oval with melted butter, then fold in half to form the traditional Parker House roll shape. Press lightly on the edges to seal then transfer to a prepared baking sheet. The edges will not seal properly if buttered so try and keep the butter in the center of the oval. Repeat with the remaining dough balls spacing the rolls about 2-inches apart on the baking sheet. Cover the formed rolls with a lightly sprayed piece of plastic wrap and set aside in a warm location.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, forming into a log, cutting into 12 equal sized pieces, etc. Set the second filled pan aside in a warm location to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours. To test for proper rise, the dough should barely spring back when poked with a knuckle.
- Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once risen, lightly brush the rolls with melted butter, and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Switch and rotate the pans halfway through baking. Allow the rolls to cool, then serve warm brushed with additional melted butter if desired.
Make ahead instructions:
- Once the dough is made, do not let it rise. Refrigerate the covered dough ball overnight or up to 16 hours. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then continue with step 3.
- Unbaked, formed, fully risen rolls can be frozen for up to 1 month. Once frozen, transfer to a large ziplock bag for storage. To bake, remove the frozen rolls to a parchment lined baking sheet and allow them to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake. You may need to increase baking time to 25-30 minutes.
For this recipe you will need an instant read thermometer and a small rolling pin or dowel rod.
This recipe was made using Land-O-Lakes unsalted butter and has not been tested with other brands.
I use my microwave as a proofing oven. When the task light is on (under the microwave) the inside of the microwave stays warm and is free from drafts. It’s the perfect place to proof dough!
Recipe adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book
Here are a few of our favorite kitchen tools used when making these rolls (each photo is clickable):
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We love yeast rolls, especially during the holidays. Our Easy 90-Minute Rolls are so simple even a non-baker can bake them, or at least my husband can, and has many times! These Quick Whole Grain Oat Rolls from The View from Great Island look heavenly too. Check out these beautiful Pumpkin Style Sweet Potato Brioche Rolls from The Cafe Sucre Farine – how terrific these would be on a holiday table. I adore these Rustic Old Fashioned Potato Rolls from Seasons & Suppers, tender and moist, and perfect for the holidays. I also love this recipe from RecipeGirl of another family favorite for – Crescent Dinner Rolls.
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