I learned about the famous Parker House rolls sometime ago while watching one of the many food shows that I use to waste my time. This morning since I was up at 4 AM due to jet lag, I decided to try my hand at them (also because I didn’t think we had anything in the house for breakfast except for eggs and I figured that some bread would go well with eggs).
I ended up loosely following a recipe from King Arthur Flour, but made some changes based on what I had in my pantry.
- 3 cups flour (I used a mixture of bread and AP)
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk (I used rice drink as that is all we have in the house)
- 1 large egg (mine was more of a medium sized egg)
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
The overall recipe was fairly easy. Mix all of the above ingredients save for the last 3 Tbsp of melted butter – that was for later. I did slightly warm up the rice drink with the egg whisked in to get it closer to room temperature. Initially (maybe due to lack of sleep), I only used 2 cups of flour and couldn’t figure out why the dough was so wet and seemed to be more consistent with a cake mixture. I eventually realized my mistake and added the extra cup of flour and it still came together okay though was a very wet dough (I suspect from the all the butter).
I popped the dough into a lightly greased bowl and placed it in my oven’s proof setting for 80 minutes (originally it was set at 90 minutes but I took it out a little early). The dough rose quite nicely.
The King Arthur recipe calls to shape the dough into the orginial recipe shape (as seen here). I decided to do my own thing.
I spread the dough out into a roughly 8″ x 12″ rectangle. I took some of the melted butter and generously brushed it over the entire dough rectangle.
I then divided the dough into 16 pieces. Each piece was then individually rolled into more or less a ball like shape and placed in some cast iron pans.
I then let it rise for abour 40 minutes (the recipe says to let them puff up and not double at about 45-60 minutes).
In a 350 F pre-heated oven I popped both the cast iron pans into the center of the oven. The original recipe called to bake for 20-25 minutes until brown but mine ended up taking closer to 30 minutes (maybe like 29 minutes). I then brushed the top of the bread with the remaining melted butter.
Overall I was impressed with how they came out. The inside dough structure was soft and pillowy and there was a bit of crunch from the outside of the bread. This is definitely something I can do again in the future.