Parker House Rolls

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These are the most buttery, light, unbelievable dinner rolls you have ever had. This is the recipe for the old classic Parker-House Rolls. I remember copying it out of the Joy of Cooking as a kid, and for the last 20 years, I have made these our “Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls”. There are some slight adjustments to the recipe to account for using dry yeast, as no one ever knows where to get fresh cake yeast. (However if you do, there are those notes at the bottom.) Clearly these are going to take more time than buying them at the store- but I promise they are worth it. Or if it is your job to bring “bread” to the family dinner, try wowing everyone with these instead, people will freak out. Three years ago at my first Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family, my brother-in-law ate a dozen himself…

“Parker House Rolls” aka Buttery Dinner Rolls, recipe makes about 30 2″ rolls
-1 cup whole milk
-1 Tbs of sugar
-2 Tbs of butter
-1/2 tsp of salt
-2 Tbs water
-1 large egg
-2 ½ cups sifted AP flour

-plus extra flour and butter


1) Scald 1 cup whole milk

2) Add to the scalded milk
1Tbs of sugar
2 Tbs of butter
1/2 tsp of salt

3) Transfer the milk mixture to a mixing bowl (in a mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment.) Use a thermometer to measure the mixture at 110 degrees. (I would actually do this, because if the yeast goes in too hot or too cold, everything is ruined)

*While the milk is scalding and cooling, dissolve 1 ½ packets of dry yeast in 2 Tbs of 110 degree water.

4) When the milk is 110 degrees, add the yeast and water mixture to the milk.

5) Beat 1 large egg into the yeast and milk mixture.

6) Add 2½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

7) Stir in part of the flour and then slowly add the rest just until the dough takes on a consistency that can be handled easily.

8) When the dough is ready, remove it from the mixing bowl and place in a greased (with butter) bowl. Brush the top of the dough with 2 Tbs melted butter.

9) Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let rise in a warm place. The dough should double in size. Roll the dough into a rectangle, and cut into smaller 2” rectangles to use all of the dough, (don’t re-roll the dough).

10) Dip the blade of a knife in flour, and slice cross-wise ¾ of the way through each roll, and then gently push the edges back together.

11) Place the rolls in rows on a greased pan. Let the rolls rise a second time in the pan, about 35 minutes.

12) Bake the rolls in an oven pre-heated to 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the rolls immediately from the sheet pan, once they are taken out of the oven.

*If you can get fresh cake yeast, than use ½ an ounce, and change the water and milk temperatures to 85 degrees.