Buttery Parker House Rolls
Parker House rolls are an American dinner table classic with a long history.
Invented in the 1870s at the Boston Parker House Hotel (the same hotel that brought us the Boston Cream Pie), these tender rolls have since made their way onto the list of New England’s favourite foods. Both crisp and yielding, you’ll find these rolls on dinner tables year round, though this easy-to-make enriched dough is at home in a holiday spread, too.
Traditionally, these rolls have a “pocketbook” shape that gives them a buttery middle fold. Our recipe forgoes the fold, instead shaping the dough into balls and batch baking them in a 10-inch circular cake pan. Brushes with butter both before and after cooking means they’re still shiny and indulgent.
While this is a relatively simple recipe that works for dinner anytime, it’s impressive enough for a festive table.
This recipe appears in Taking Thanksgiving Classics for a Spin. Find more Thanksgiving recipes here.
5 hours prep;
15 minutes baking time
stand mixer with dough hook attachment
Ooni Pizza Dough Scraper
Ooni Dual Platform Digital Scales
9-inch round nonstick cake pan
Ooni pizza oven
Ooni Infrared Thermometer
Ooni Pizza Oven Gloves
Ooni pizza peel
9 ounces (262 grams) whole milk
3½ tablespoons (50 grams) water
2 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
4 ¾ cups (590 grams) all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons (20 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) fine sea salt
4 tablespoons (60 grams) butter, softened
3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter, melted
1 teaspoon (6 grams) flaky sea salt, for finishing
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add milk, water, and active dry yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Add the egg and softened butter to the yeast mixture, then add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed using the hook attachment.Mix for 6 minutes, until dough is formed.If necessary, knead by hand until smooth, then cover and proof until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Butter a nonstick baking pan. After proofing, divide the dough into eighteen 55-gram pieces.Form into balls and place in the nonstick pan a few centimetres apart. Cover with plastic wrap and proof until doubled in size once more, about 3 hours.
When the dough is fully proofed, fire up your oven. Aim for 510°C on the stone baking board inside. (You can check the temperature quickly and easily using an infrared thermometer.) When the oven is up to temperature, brush the buns with melted butter, sprinkle with sea salt, and wrap in foil.
Place the pan in the oven and turn off the flames, allowing the residual heat to cook the buns for 10 minutes.Remove the foil and turn the flame back on to get that classic golden brown colour on the top of the buns. Cook for 5 more minutes, turning occasionally to prevent any one side from getting too much colour. When the rolls are done, remove them from the oven, brush them with more melted butter, and enjoy.