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Monday, January 9, 2012

Parker-Parker House Rolls

 This is going to be a long, long post with lots and lots of pictures, so I will keep my intro brief.  Parker House Rolls are super delicious buttery rolls made famous by the Parker House Hotel in Boston.  My neighbor Sheri has a great recipe for them, passed down from her grandmother, whose last name happens to be...Parker.  For most of her life, Sheri thought "Parker House Rolls" just meant they were her Grandma's special rolls.  Imagine the awe at finding out they are mass-produced and the whole world loves them!

Sheri saw my post a few years ago of my first Parker House Roll attempt...and diplomatically offered to show me a much better way.  For which I am extremely grateful.  I went over a few days after Christmas, with my kids and new camera in tow, and watched/photographed/helped her make a nice big batch while the kids played with new Christmas toys.  It was a good, good day and we ate loads of rolls for lunch, all afternoon, and dinner.

Here's the recipe Sheri has from her grandmother.  Don't you love it?  The reason it can fit on a 3x5 card is because the instructions consist of, "Mix in usual manner."  Luckily Grandma Parker taught Sheri well so she knows what that means.  For the rest of us, I took lots of notes and pictures.
 Parker-Parker House Rolls
2 T yeast proofed in 1/2 cup warm water and a pinch of sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 beaten eggs
3 T sugar
2 tsp salt
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups scalded milk, slightly cooled
Lots of soft butter for spreading (at least 1/2 cup)
Melted butter for the pans (4 to 6 T)

1.  Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees) and a pinch of sugar.  Stir and allow to sit for a few minutes.
 2.  Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, mix the butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and about 3 cups of flour.  Slowly pour in the milk while mixing.  Switch to the dough hook.

 3.  Slowly add in 1 1/2 more cups of flour while mixing, then 1/8 cup at a time until the dough is manageable but still sticky and just pulling away from the sides.

 4.  Transfer dough to a floured surface.  Knead in a little flour, but it should still be a little sticky.  Roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick or a little thinner.

 5.  Spread with butter, fold in half, spread with more butter, fold in half again, spread with butter again.

 6.  Smoosh and knead it all together and roll it out again.

 7.  Prepare pan(s).  This recipe fills an entire jelly roll pan or two 9 x 13 pans.  Melt 4 to 6 T butter and pour into the bottom of the pans.  Keep them on a slightly warm surface if possible so the butter stays melted.  Also stick a lid or knife under one end so they are slightly tilted, thus ensuring enough butter for all the rolls.

 8.  Using a drinking glass or about 2 1/2 inch cutter, cut circles of dough.  Now pay attention to the technique.  Pat each round in the melted butter in the pan, then pat it on the top of the previous roll, fold in half, and place it in the pan.  This way, every roll has butter on the bottom, in the middle, and on the top.

By keeping the pan at a slight tilt, there is enough butter for the last rolls.

9.  Place pan in a warm location free of drafts; cover loosely and allow to rise for about 2 hours (about 2/3 up the side of a 9x13 or about twice as high as the edge of a jelly roll.)

 10.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake rolls for about 20 minutes or until delectably golden brown.  Amazing!

Thanks so much, Sheri and Grandma Parker.  Now we can all feel as special as Parkers.


kat said...

i'm just not convinced these rolls have enough butter involved! :)

Sheri said...

So fun! This recipe was passed from my great grandma Parker, I wish I knew where she got it.

I've posted this to my Facebook.


Leslie said...

Ahhh. I love those kind of recipes!!!!

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