Mother made parker house rolls often.  She just used her favorite white bread recipe though parker house roll recipes are usually richer, made with an egg and a little extra sugar. 

But Mom’s were great.

Parker House Rolls are more of a technique than a recipe.  The dough is divided and rolled into little round balls, about an inch in diameter.  The balls are rolled in melted butter and baked in muffin tins, three to a tin. 

We often make Parker House Rolls for special occasions.  The buttery coating makes them rich and they seem luxurious.  They’re not hard and almost foolproof. 

You can make your rolls with nearly any mix or with the recipe below.  Our Parker House Roll Mix is easy and not expensive.  It’s made with buttermilk to be more authentic to the 1860 recipe.  You can drop it in the bread machine set on the dough cycle, make it with your stand-type mixer, or by hand.

This recipe also calls for dough conditioner which makes the bread lighter and better textured.  It also calls for baker’s dry milk which is high heat treated to neutralize the enzyme that impedes the growth of the yeast.   You can use regular dry milk but the yeast will not grow as rapidly.  Dairy-milk, buttermilk, or sour cream makes bread richer and more flavorful. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups water at 105 to 110 degrees
  • 4 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 7-gram packet instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup baker’s dry milk
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dough conditioner
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Heat the butter until it is almost melted and set it aside.
  2. Grease the cups in two standard-sized muffin pans, including the rims.
  3. Measure the water. Use an insta-read thermometer to get the temperature right.
  4. Place two cups of the bread flour and the yeast in the bowl of your stand-type mixer equipped with a dough hook.  Turn the mixer on for a couple of bursts to disperse the yeast.  Add the water and mix for 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. In another bowl, mix the rest of the flour with the salt, sugar, dry milk, and dough conditioner.  Add this mixture to the wet mixture along with the melted butter and the egg.
  6. Knead with the dough hook on medium speed for four minutes or until the gluten is well-developed.
  7. Grease a large mixing bowl.  Turn the dough out into the large mixing bowl and turn once to grease both sides of the dough ball.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside to rise.  It should double in size in about 45 minutes.  If it has not, let it rest longer.
  8. Divide the dough into balls a little larger than one-inch in diameter.  You will need three balls for each roll and the recipe will make 16 rolls.  (So you will need 48 balls depending on how large you want your rolls.)
  9. Roll each ball through the 1/2 cup melted butter.  Place three balls in the bottom of each muffin cup.  If there is any leftover butter, pour it into the muffin cups.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit again to rise.  They should double in size in about 45 minutes. 
  10. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the tops are browned and the internal temperature is at least 190 degrees.  Remove them from the oven.  After a few minutes, remove the rolls from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm.

Favorite Jams and Honey

It seems like an old and venerable recipe like Parker House Rolls, should be matched with a classic jam.  My all-time favorite peach jam and one that sells very well in our store, is our Harvest Peach Cobbler Jam by Pioneer Valley.  This gourmet jam has a touch of vanilla and spices and really does taste like a peach cobbler.  It’s incredible.  Browning’s Peach Honey with the distinctive taste of fresh peaches would be very good with these rolls.

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