Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parker House Rolls

These rolls turned out great on my first try. Yes, they are courtesy of Alton Brown from Good Eats. Some folks have mentioned that maybe i watch too much Food TV, but my counter is that cookbooks are great, but when the show not only explains but shows you how to do it, you can't beat it. What I like about Good Eats is that not only does he give clear directions, but he really seems to do it right in front of you. Well anyway, back to the rolls,


  • Nonstick spray
  • 8 ounces warm whole milk (100 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 ounces sugar (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 15 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, 3 ounces at room temperature, 1 ounce chilled and cut into 16 small cubes

  • Spray a half sheet pan with nonstick spray and set aside. An alternative is to use a Sil-Pat mat. I liked the mat and it worked great.
  • Place the milk, sugar, yeast, flour, egg yolks, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine on low speed for 1 minute. Change the paddle attachment to the dough hook and rest the dough for 10 to 15 minutes. I did put the yeast into the milk and sugar and gave it a few minutes to bloom before adding it to the mixer. I was worried about the yeast and the salt. I know, I know, probably nothing to worry about, but everything else I have read is to let it bloom before letting it near salt. Anyway, it worked.
  • Add 2 ounces of the room temperature butter and mix on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and you are able to gently pull the dough into a thin sheet that light will pass through, about 8 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll and shape with hands to form a large ball. Return dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm, dry place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a 16 by 3-inch log. Use a bench knife to cut the dough into 1 3/4-ounce portions, about 16 rolls. Using your loosely cupped hand, roll each portion on the counter until they tighten into small balls. Working 1 at a time, use a rolling pin to roll each small ball into a 3-inch circle or oval. Use the side of your hand or a small dowel to make an indentation across the middle of the circle. Place a small pat of chilled butter into the center of the indentation, then fold in half and gently press to seal the edges. Place the rolls, top-side down, onto the prepared sheet pan, spacing them evenly. Melt the remaining 1 ounce butter and brush the tops of the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, dry place to rise until doubled in size, 30 to 40 minutes. I did have one problem here. I couldn't put all 16 rolls on one sheet pan. I squeezed in 12 and put the other 4 in the freezer.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the rolls reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees F, 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
  • Remove the pan to a cooling rack and cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

They came out great. My wife made a suggestion of hitting them with a little more melted butter once they came out of the oven. I'll try that next time.

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