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Parker House Rolls

Parker House Rolls

  • Yield: 20 rolls


  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast (or 2 packages active dry yeast)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, as needed


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, ½ cup sugar, 5 tablespoons of the butter, the dry milk, and the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm before proceeding.

    In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, dissolve the yeast and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in the warm water. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.  Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine, then stir in the eggs.

    Fit the mixer with the dough hook and add 5 ¼ cups of the flour. Turn the mixer on to low speed and mix until the dough comes together, adding more flour as needed to form a smooth, soft dough that is slightly sticky. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead the dough until smooth and elastic and dough mostly pulls away from the sides of the bowl, usually about 5 minutes. If the dough seems too wet and does not come away from the bowl, add a bit more flour, a tablespoon or two at a time, until it is no longer too sticky to handle. Remember that you will be adding a bit of flour when you turn it out onto the work surface, so hold off on adding too much. This is meant to be a supple, damp dough that is ever so slightly sticky.

    Lightly grease the inside of a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn the dough in the bowl to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

    Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan. Line a 10- by 17-inch half sheet pan with parchment paper and brush the paper with some of the melted butter.

    Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, press it down, and cut it into two equal pieces using a large knife or a bench scraper. Working with one half at a time, roll or pat the dough to a rough rectangle about 9- by 15-inches and 1/3-inch thick. You can pull on the edges of the dough and use the edges of your hands to shape it into more of a rectangle.

    Brush the rolled dough all over with a light coating of the melted butter. Cut the dough in half lengthwise to make two 4.5" x 15" rectangles. Working with one rectangle at a time, fold the uncut edge of dough over lengthwise to come within about 1/2" of the other edge, so the bottom edge sticks out about 1/2" beyond the top edge. You'll now have a long thin rectangle that's about 2 1/2" x 15". Repeat with the other piece of the first half of the dough.

    Use a ruler to mark the folded dough into 3-inch lengths, then cut each of the rectangles crosswise into five 3-inch pieces, for a total of 10 folded rolls, each measuring about 2 1/2" x 3". Flip the rolls over (so that their smooth, non-folded side is facing up), and place them onto the lightly greased 10" x 17" pan. Repeat this process with the remaining half of the dough, for a total of 20 rolls in all. You'll arrange 5 rows of 4 in the pan, with the longer side of the rolls going down the longer side of the pan. You should have about ½-inch space between the rolls. Don’t worry if the rolls aren’t perfect – as they rise and bake together, any imperfections will disappear.

    Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap, and let the rolls rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they've risen considerably but aren’t quite doubled in size. Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F about midway through the rising time.

    Remove the plastic wrap and bake the dinner rolls until golden brown and puffed, 20 to 22 minutes.

    Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving. Brush with the remaining butter or serve with butter at the table.

    Yield: 20 rolls

    *Note:  for measuring purposes, we employ the spoon and level method, where flour is spooned into the measuring cups and then leveled off the top, rather than the scoop and level method.

Recipe Details