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Parker House Rolls

Believed to be the creation of the first chef at Boston's Parker House Hotel in 1867, these light, puffy rolls get their richness from butter.

  • Yield: Makes 24 rolls
Parker House Rolls

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1999


  • 1/4 cup warm water, 100 degrees to 110 degrees
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for plastic wrap, bowl, and baking pan
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


  1. In the detached bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together yeast, water, and a pinch of sugar. Set aside until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.

  2. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment. On low speed, add 7 tablespoons melted butter, milk, salt, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and eggs. Slowly add enough flour to make a sticky dough. Brush the inside of a mixing bowl with butter. Place dough in bowl; cover bowl with buttered plastic wrap. Set aside until doubled in size, about 2 1/2 hours.

  3. Generously brush a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with butter. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Brush dough generously with 3 tablespoons melted butter. Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut dough into 6 equal strips lengthwise. Cut dough crosswise into 4 equal sections. You will have 24 elongated rectangles. Fold each rectangle in half, and place in prepared baking pan, 4 across, and 6 down. Brush tops with remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter. Cover pan with buttered plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until dough does not spring back when pressed with a finger, 25 to 30 minutes.

  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before turning out of pan.

Reviews (2)

  • claritygolden 22 Dec, 2013

    I was a little disappointed in this recipe. The rolls needed more salt, either in the dough or by using salted butter to brush in the middle and top. They were also a little more dense than I was hoping for. I wanted something a little lighter and airier. They're not bad, but I might try looking for another recipe next time.

  • applledumpling 19 Oct, 2008

    How do you adapt recipe if have no stand mixer?

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