I started making Parker House Rolls in high school. My dad was thrilled because he loved rolls. My mom wasn’t as enthusiastic because there was flour all over the kitchen! I always had trouble with the rolls popping open while they were rising. I buttered both sides of the cut out dough and finally realized that the buttered dough had nothing to stick to. The solution was to butter half of one side of the roll, fold it, then shingle the unbuttered sides together. Problem solved!
Who can resist tender, melt-in-your mouth, Parker House rolls? These rolls taste extra buttery with the addition of butter flavored shortening. Rosemary makes the rolls savory and they go perfect with prime rib, filet, pork tenderloin, or turkey. Sprinkled with a little Maldon finishing salt these rolls are irresistible.
Rosemary Parker House Rolls
1 package rapid rise yeast or 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
¼ cup warm water (110-115ºF)
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup butter flavored vegetable shortening (I use Crisco butter flavor shortening)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt (level the salt in the measuring spoon with a knife)
1 large, room temperature egg
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons minced rosemary leaves
¼ cup unsalted butter (for brushing on dough and baked rolls)
Maldon sea salt flakes for finishing
Whisk yeast into warm water in a small bowl. Set aside 5 minutes. Heat milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm. Add shortening, sugar and salt. Stir until most of the shortening melts. (It may not all melt.) Pour in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with flat paddle. Add yeast mixture, egg, and flour. Mix on medium speed until dough comes together.
Switch to dough hook and knead dough on medium low speed for 6 to 7 minutes until smooth. Spray a bowl large enough for dough to double in size while rising with canola oil non-stick spray. Turn dough in bowl to coat all sides. Loosely cover bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Put a towel under bowl and place in microwave (use microwave as a proofing box but don’t turn microwave on). Let rise until doubled, about 1½ hours.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Lightly butter a 13 X 9-inch metal baking pan with butter. Deflate dough by pressing fist in middle of dough. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Each piece of dough will make a row of 9 rolls in the pan. Spray counter and rolling pin with canola oil non-stick spray. Roll 1 piece of dough into a 12 X 6-inch rectangle. Cut lengthwise with a pizza cutter into three, 2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into thirds to make three, 4 X 2-inch rectangles.
Brush bottom half of each rectangle (2 X 2-inch) with butter. Fold top half over buttered half leaving a ¼-inch overhang. Place first roll in corner of short side of pan with folded edge against side of pan. Add remaining rolls in a row, shingling overhang over fold of next roll. (The rolls will look like roof shingles. This prevents the rolls from popping open when they rise.) Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of dough. You will have 9 rolls per row X 4 rows= 36 rolls total.
At this point you have 2 options: Option #1 Cover rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in microwave with a towel underneath pan (use microwave as a proofing box but don’t turn microwave on). Let rolls rise 45 minutes to 1 hour. Rolls will be puffy but not doubled in size. They will rise more as they bake. Towards the end of the rising time preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown or thermometer reads 190ºF when inserted in middle of roll. Brush remaining melted butter on rolls, sprinkle lightly with Maldon sea salt flakes, and serve hot!
Option #2 Cover rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator and let rolls rise 2- 2 ½ hours or until puffy but not doubled in size. Rolls will rise more as they bake. Towards the end of the rising time preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown or thermometer reads 190ºF when inserted in middle of roll. Brush remaining melted butter on rolls, sprinkle lightly with Maldon sea salt flakes, and serve hot! Makes 36 rolls. Happy Baking!
Tip: Don’t sprinkle Maldon sea salt flakes on rolls until right before serving or salt will melt into the butter and your rolls will be covered with little white dots!
Published in The News and Neighbor on December 12, 2018.