Parker House Rolls. What is better than fresh bread? Yet for years I was really intimidated by anything that needed to “rise”. I thought that it was easier to buy bread and that there was not much difference in the taste. Well, I was probably right on the first count, but I was oh so wrong on the second count. There is nothing like fresh bread!
My daughter and I love bread with an unholy fervor. So it only followed that we would attempt to make our own. Several years ago, we found our go-to recipe (by Bobby Flay at Food Network) and we’ve been making it ever since. With just a few simple ingredients, you too, can have fresh rolls! And as it turns out, it really isn’t that hard to make your own. Sure, the first time takes awhile because there are a few different steps (and lot of hands off time while the dough is rising), but now that I’ve made these Parker House Rolls many times, I can do it quite quickly, planning them around the rest of my day.
Interestingly, Parker House Rolls originated in Boston at the Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Hotel) in the 1870s. Reportedly a baker threw unfinished rolls into the oven and came up with these light in the middle, crisp on the outside beauties. The original Parker House Rolls were shaped differently-but that truly did seem like too much work, so here we are. Although there is some time between the steps, each step is pretty simple. And this recipe makes a lot of rolls. That means that you can eat them for dinner AND use them again to make killer sandwiches for lunch the next day. Try these, you will never buy rolls again.
- 1½ cups milk
- ½ cup butter (unsalted), cut into pieces
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 7 oz package of active dry yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast if you have the larger container instead of the packets)
- ½ cup warm water
- 3 eggs, beaten with a fork
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons butter (unsalted), melted
- Using a small saucepan, heat milk until simmering.
- Stir in sugar and butter and remove from heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Allow milk mixture to cool.
- Measure warm water into a glass measuring cup, dissolve yeast into the warm water and allow yeast to become foamy.
- Place cooled milk mixture, eggs, yeast, salt and 3 cups of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using dough hook, mix until smooth.
- Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to the mixer, mixing until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- (Alternatively you can use a food processor with the dough blade for the mixing step)
- Lightly flour a surface and use it to knead dough by hand for approximately 5 minutes.
- Place ball of dough into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately 1-2 hours.
- Using the floured surface again, punch dough down, and shape into balls.
- Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or greased with butter.
- Cover with kitchen towel and again allow to rise until doubled, approximately 40-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
- Remove rolls from the oven and brush with melted butter.
- Serve while still warm.
- Place leftovers in a sealed container.