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Parker House Rolls

Food editor Khalil Hymore's version of Parker House rolls are twice-brushed with butter, sprinkled with salt, and served warm. Yum.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 24
Parker House Rolls

Source: Everyday Food, November 2011


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed (105 to 110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, from one packet
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 4 tablespoons, melted
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for spinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Add flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, 5 tablespoons butter pieces, and sugar. With dough hook, mix on low until mixture just comes together. Increase to medium-high; beat until butter is incorporated and dough is soft, 10 minutes.

  2. Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into a ball, place in bowl, and cover with a damp clean dish towel. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours (or refrigerate overnight; bring to room temperature before baking).

  3. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Turn dough out onto a work surface and loosely cover with damp towel so it doesn't dry out. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 24 pieces, roll into smooth balls (about 2 inches each), and arrange in pan, 1/2 inch apart. Cover with towel and let rise until rolls begin to touch, 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush rolls with half the melted butter; bake until golden brown, 30 minutes. Brush with remaining melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.

Cook's Note

Make sure that the dough rises in a warm, draft-free place. It may take anywhere from one to two hours for the dough to double in size, depending on temperature and humidity.

Before brushing with butter and sprinkling with salt, store cooled rolls, wrapped in plastic, up to 2 days. Reheat in a 350 degrees oven, 10 minutes.

To freeze, place dough balls in a parchment-lined baking pan; cover with plastic and freeze. Store in freezer bags, 3 months. To bake, let rise in baking pan in a warm place, covered with a damp towel, until rolls just touch, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, then follow step 4.

Reviews (23)

  • RyanEaves 22 Dec, 2014

    The quantities have been fixed since the reviews below that had trouble with the dough rising. I attempted this recipe as it is written now- 1 packet of active dry yeast and 2.25tsp of salt and it works perfectly.

  • serenityNH 19 Nov, 2012

    I certainly wish I read the reviews before I made these rolls! What a waste of time and ingredients. Thank goodness I made a batch as a test run before Thanksgiving and didn't wait until Thanksgiving day!

  • Laurylyn 13 Nov, 2012

    I too followed this recipe to a "T". I used my kitchenaid bread hook and like others my dough did not rise after both "rising times". I brushed the rolls with "unsalted" butter (worried about the 4 ts of salt) and put them in the oven.

    They did rise as they were baking and looked just like the picture. I brushed them again with "unsalted" butter and they were a hit.

    I heated up the rest the next night for 10 minutes and they were dense, rich and good.

  • normagonz 22 Dec, 2011

    Made this from recipe in Everyday Food, Nov2011. Was very disappointed because dough didn't rise. Apparently, recipe stated only 1 tsp. active dry yeast instead, it should be 1 packet (2-1/4 tsp) of active dry yeast. The list of ingredients and procedure were inaccurate. Someone should have carefully edited before printing.

  • cherrisa44 12 Dec, 2011

    I made these the other night for a dinner party, I am sad to say mine never rose either! I defiantly will never use this recipe again sad to say.

  • susan259 29 Nov, 2011

    I only made 2 changes--heating the milk to 110 degrees F or so and reducing the salt to 2 tsp. I think I will reduce further when I repeat. Rolls turned out in time recipe stated. I did rise on top of preheated stove not in fridge. They were light, fluffy and delicious, everyone was impressed. I reheated as instructed.

  • joroco19 26 Nov, 2011

    I also was disappointed, but figured I had nothing to lose if I experiment! After it didnt rise, I added in a bit of proofed yeast and let it rise for about 5 hours!!! Let the second rise go overnight!!! Results...DELICIOUS...but nothing like a Parker House Roll...much more dense.

  • Looselucy 25 Nov, 2011

    I made these rolls the night before Thanksgiving and they never rose either. I was so disappointed. I am going to a house party tomorrow and was going to try them again because I thought I must have done something wrong. Right after I put the flour in the mixing bowl I decided I better check the reviews and I'm so glad I did and didn't waste my time again!!

  • Wendyrun 25 Nov, 2011

    Well, I just came for validation, & see my results were the same as everyone else's...but haven't read far enough to see if anyone got this recipe to work.
    I thought it was my yeast.
    I'm a moderately experienced baker. I decided to reduce the salt in this recipe to 2t. Four teaspoons! That's 1T plus 1t, to 1t of yeast? Crazy!
    I would try these again, double the yeast and cut the salt even further.
    I never even make rolls for Thanksgiving, but they looked SO GOOD in the picture, I was seduced.

  • zulutsen 25 Nov, 2011

    Here's an update to my earlier post. On my third try (not sure why I didn't just try a different recipe), used 4 cups flour, 2 cups milk, 1 tsp salt and 2 packets of yeast. Everything else the same. Turned out fine. So yes, recipe is definitely screwy.

  • HeidiBurn 25 Nov, 2011

    I am so disappointed in this recipe and wish I would have read the reviews first. My dough did not rise either. I had this confused with the No-Knead Dinner Rolls recipe that I made several years ago with great success. I didn't realize my mistake in confusing the recipes until after wasting all those ingredients and time on Thanksgiving day. It's a shame that the editors have not fixed this recipe to work. Luckily I made the No-Knead rolls and they were perfect.

  • LynnieU 25 Nov, 2011

    This is a terrible recipe~ mine did not rise either! I tried 2 different batches and came up with the conclusion that there isn't anything to activate the yeast. I know it wasn't my yeast as I had made successfull cinnamon rolls with the same yeast yesterday.
    Luckily, I had crescent rolls in the fridge (I have a kid who LOVES hot dog in crescent rolls) and used those instead. Unfortunately, I wasted all those ingridents as well = (

  • psofey 25 Nov, 2011

    i'm glad i wasn't the only one! i should know better than to try a new recipe when cooking for guests. i made a double batch for thanksgiving and we're throwing most of them out. maybe if the salt and yeast amounts were swapped? these were terribly salty and never rose. too bad.

  • designerwantabe 24 Nov, 2011

    Thank you subscribers for posting! I read the recipe & found the directions odd because the yeast had not been activated. Looked up Parker House rolls in a few other cookbooks & was convinced this recipe wouldn't work. Because you posted your comments, I will not ruin a meal counting on this recipe...I'm surprised there wasn't a correction in the Dec. issue. This is not a good thing.

  • KraftyBetsy 24 Nov, 2011

    Tasted like pretzels. Even though it DID NOT RISE, we baked them. Hope some one revises/corrects this recipe soon.

  • gnageydvm 24 Nov, 2011

    Mine didn't rise either, luckily I had some frozen dinner rolls to thaw!

  • oneLmichele 24 Nov, 2011

    Being an experienced baker, I hate to admit it but my dough also did NOT rise. Very disappointed. Martha's recipes usually produce excellent results...

  • matthewh 23 Nov, 2011

    My dough also did not rise

  • WyomingPeach 23 Nov, 2011

    I used the equivalent of one package of dry yeast. I warmed the milk to melt the butter. It is very salty dough, so I would cut that back to 1 Tbsp. salt next time. Otherwise, mine rose fine. good luck!

  • zulutsen 23 Nov, 2011

    Tried this twice and didn't rise. Not only wasted time but ingredients. I hate wasting food! Even sent my husband to the grocery store to buy more yeast (he bought two brands) in case that was the problem. Otherwise, I love the recipies here. Shame it's during Thanksgiving rush!

  • appliancegirl 23 Nov, 2011

    Recipe does not work! Please make the correction at your end. Wasted time and effort. The honey amount seems too low or the salt too high. Never got the rise......1 tsp of yeast?
    I hope someone can fix the recipe.

  • idk 22 Nov, 2011

    I had the same problem. It did not raise! Wasted time at this time of year.

  • Lindy0911 22 Nov, 2011

    This recipe does not work out. I think that the ingredient measurements are off. It has way too much salt and not enough yeast. Don't forget, salt kills yeast. Dough was too stiff and never raised. It doesn't hurt to put an egg in a roll recipe either.

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