The story of Parker House Rolls is part legend and part truth. Apparently, they date back to the 1800's and originated at Parker House Hotel in Boston. There are a variety of stories surrounding them and you can find out what The Food Timeline have to say about these wonderful rolls by clicking here.
The rolls are a butter and egg enriched dough, served warm they are very moreish.
The dough can be made in a bread machine (by referring to your manufacturers instructions), in the food mixer fitted with a dough hook or if you feel like a good workout, made by hand.
The book this recipe came from is for either making bread by either hand or bread machine. The fundamentals of breadmaking are covered, there is a photographic gallery showing some of the world's most mouthwatering breads, a guide to ingredients and equipment, also techniques. There are recipes from basic breads to sourdoughs, flavoured breads to festive breads, in fact something for everyone.
Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
ISBN No. 1-4053-0511-8
You will need:
2½ tsp dried yeast, 250ml milk, 60g melted unsalted butter, 30g melted butter to glaze, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 2 beaten eggs, 560g strong white flour, 2tsp salt
1. Sprinkle the yeast into 100ml tepid milk in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan with the butter and sugar. Stir continuously, until the butter has melted. Cool until tepid, then beat in the eggs until evenly distributed.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk and the butter mixture. Mix in the flour to form a soft, sticky dough.
3.Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface. Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. Don't add too much flour, the dough should be soft not dry.
4. Put the dough in a buttered bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1½ hours.
5. Knock back, then leave to rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two pieces. Roll out each to form a 20cm x 40cm rectangle. Cut each rectangle lengthways into four strips, each 10cm long. Brush half of each rectangle with melted butter, then fold in half, leaving a 1cm flap.
6. Place the rolls on a buttered baking sheet so that each roll overlaps slightly with the one next to it; cover with a tea towel. prove until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
7. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake in a preheated oven 220°C for 15-20 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.