Parker House rolls are an American tradition, dating back to 1855 and the opening of Boston's famous Parker House Restaurant. They are very easy to make. The first time I had them at someone's house, I knew I had to add the recipe to my blog to share with you all. It's just way too good to pass up! And it makes a ton, which is nice for those big family dinners!! Make sure you have lots of REAL butter on hand to slather on these puppies when they come out of the oven. I dare say, you won't be able to resist their charm!
PARKER HOUSE ROLLS
6 to 6 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages dry active yeast
1 cup butter softened
2 cups hot tap water (120 - 130 degrees)
About 3 1/2 hours before serving:
1. In a large bowl,combine 2 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast; add 1/2 cup butter. With mixer at low speed, gradually pour 2 cups hot water (120' to 130'F) into dry ingredients. Add egg. Increase speed to medium. Beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in 3/4 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Continue beating 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl. With a spoon stir in enough additional flour (about 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough.
2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning over so that the top of dough is greased. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place (8-0' to 85'F) until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Punch down dough by pushing down the center of the dough with fist, then pushing the edges of dough into center. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly to make a smooth ball. Cover with bowl for 15 minutes and let dough rest.
4. In a 17 1/4" by 11 1/2" roasting pan, over low heat, melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter. Tilt the pan to grease bottom.
5. On lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/2 inch thick. With floured 2 2/4 inch round cutter, cut dough into circles. Holding dough circle by the edge, dip both sides into melted butter in pan. Fold in half and give it a push right in the middle, with the tip of your finger (to make it stay folded). Arrange folded dough in rows in pan, each nearly touching the other. Knead trimmings together, re-roll and cut more rolls. Cover pan with towel. Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat over to 425'F. Bake rolls 18-20 minutes until browned. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.