Parker House Rolls [recipe]

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Nothing beats freshly baked and piping hot, buttery and soft bread rolls. Just the smell alone is so wonderful and comforting, instantly transported to my happy place. As it goes with bread making, one gotta have patience. I made and kneaded the dough in the morning, and while waiting for it to proof and double in size, I had to distract myself by going out to run errands. Otherwise, staring at that ball of dough, waiting for it to poof up would drive me insane. Other than the waiting game, the rest of the steps were a breeze. I kept the shaped dough in the fridge until nearly dinner time, threw them in the oven for 30 minutes and voila, it’s chow time! They are simply irresistible!
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These rolls are so good eaten plain, but feel free to go the extra step and make some kind of spread or dip to go with them. I served mine with an artichoke pesto (store bought, but no shame!) Be sure to use a good flaky sea salt on top, Maldon is really the perfect salt for this, but I used Fleur de Sel, equally great! Another idea I have for the next batch, is to stuff some kind of spread on the dough before the fold, savory or sweet, like sun-dried tomato cheese spread, pesto, or the never disappointing Nutella (yes we are going the dessert route). Wouldn’t that be a nice little surprise when you take a bite?
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Pardon the not very rectangular pieces in the corners. Amateur hour, you know?

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Parker House Rolls

recipe from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Directions

  • Whisk 1 envelope active dry yeast and 1/4 cup warm water (110°-115°) in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Heat 1 cup whole milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just warm. Combine 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large bowl. Add warm milk; whisk to blend, breaking up shortening into small clumps (it may not melt completely). Whisk in yeast mixture and 1 room-temperature large egg. Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Knead dough with lightly floured hands on a lightly floured surface until smooth, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. (I waited for 2 hours)
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in a small sauce-pan. Lightly brush a 13×9-inch baking dish with some melted butter. Punch down dough; divide into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 12×6-inch rectangle.
  • Cut lengthwise into three 2-inch-wide strips; cut each crosswise into three 4×2-inch rectangles. Brush half of each (about 2×2-inch) with melted butter; fold unbuttered side over, allowing 1/4-inch overhang. Place flat in 1 corner of dish, folded edge against short side of dish. Add remaining rolls, shingling to form 1 long row. Repeat with remaining dough for 4 rows. Brush with melted butter, loosely cover with plastic, and chill for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. Bake rolls until golden and puffed, 25-35 minutes. Brush with butter; sprinkle flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) over. Serve warm.

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These smelled incredible while baking!
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One thought on “Parker House Rolls [recipe]

  1. Ooh, stuffing with Pesto would be yum! Or other cheeses. Or olives or onions, yellow or green. These rolls also make me thing of those hot dogs in a bun. Maybe you could put bacon bits or sausage bits or even corn. Kinda like those Asian buns.

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