How to make Parker House rolls

These classic homemade parker house rolls will melt in your mouth. The secret may be the potato.

How to make Parker House rolls

Parker House rolls

Makes 64 rolls

What you need:

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) sugar
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) lukewarm water (40°C-46°C/105°F-115°F)
  • 2 7 g (1/4 oz) packets active dry yeast
  • 250 ml (1 c) milk
  • 250 ml (1 c) water
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 c, or 1 stick) plus 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter, melted
  • 1 large all-purpose potato, peeled, diced, boiled, and riced
  • 6.75 kg (6 1/2 to 7 c) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beatenWhat to do:

    1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, water and yeast; stir until the solids are completely dissolved. Let the yeast mixture stand until it is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

    2. In a small pot over moderately high heat, combine the milk and water, and bring to a boil. Pour the hot liquid into a large bowl. Add the salt and 45 millilitres (three tablespoons) butter, stir to blend and let cool 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or electric mixer with a paddle at moderate speed, add the potato, two cups flour and the egg, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the yeast mixture and beat one minute longer.

    3. If using the mixer, remove the paddle and attach a dough hook. Add 1.12 kilograms (4 1/2 cups) flour and beat three to five minutes or until a soft, manageable dough forms, adding 50-125 grams (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of flour as needed to reach the desired consistency.

    4. Butter a five litre (20 cup) bowl well. Using your hands, shape the dough into a ball and place in the prepared bowl, turning it to completely coat the surface of the dough with butter. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 50 minutes.

    5. Lightly flour a work surface and lightly grease six baking sheets. Punch down the dough and turn out onto the work surface. Divide the dough into four equal portions, working with one portion at a time. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough portion into a six millimetre (1/4 inch) thick, 20 x 25 centimetre (eight x ten inch) rectangle. Using a floured six centimetre (2 1/2 inch) biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 12 rounds. Gather the scraps together, and reroll; cut four more rounds.

    6. Brush each dough round with melted butter. Using the blunt side of a knife, crease each circle along the diameter and fold, stretching the top half so it covers the bottom half. Pinch the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining three portions of dough.

    7. Arrange the rolls on the prepared baking sheets and brush the tops with the remaining butter. Cover the rolls with a cloth and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).

    8. Bake until the rolls are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately or cool on wire racks.

Variations

Cloverleaf Rolls: 

  • After the dough rises, on a floured work surface, pinch off 72 walnut-size pieces of dough and roll each into a 2.5 centimetre (one inch) diameter ball.
  • Lightly grease muffin pan cups; place three dough balls in each cup to make a cloverleaf shape. Cover, let rise, and bake as above.

Fantans:

  • Roll out the risen dough and cut all the rounds with a five centimetre (two inch) biscuit cutter.
  • Spread butter on top of one round, and place another on top; repeat to make a roll with five round layers with butter between each layer.
  • Take one layered roll, slightly fold it up, and tuck it into a greased muffin pan cup so the folds are facing up.
  • Cover, let rise, and bake as above.

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