Parker House Rolls

Adapted by
May 2011
Yield: 45, 70-gram rolls


150 grams room temperature water
150 grams sugar
1.2 kilograms room temperature milk
700 grams unsalted butter, melted but not too hot, plus more for baking
17 grams fresh yeast
1.5 kilograms bread flour
500 grams all-purpose flour
8 kosher salt


Whisk the water, sugar, milk, and melted butter together well. Test the temperature with your hand. The liquids should be little warmer than room temperature. Crumble and whisk the yeast into the milk mixture, then remove the whisk from the bowl. Pour all the bread flour on top of the milk mixture and mix it all together in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook on speed 1 for about 10 minutes. Mix the all-purpose flour and kosher salt together, then pour them into the standing mixer and mix for 5 minutes. If the dough looks super sticky or wet, sprinkle in all-purpose flour a bit at a time but do not add too much. Bread tastes best when dough is on the sticky side. Once you’ve mixed in all the all-purpose flour, mix for 5 to 10 minutes.

Decant the dough into a lexan or cambro container that can hold 2 to 3 times the mass of the dough. Refrigerate overnight, covered with plastic wrap and the lid. When ready to process, thoroughly butter shallow ½ hotel pans. Do not skimp on the butter—it should be opaque on the entire interior and up the sides of the walls. Decant the dough onto a wooden bench and portion into 50- to 70-gram pieces. Roll the dough pieces into very tight rolls. The surface of the rolls should be smooth. Fit 20, 70-gram portions into each ½ hotel pan and wrap tightly with a single layer of plastic. Proof the dough in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours.

[Parker House dough will keep in the walk-in, processed, for 4 days. On the pick-up, we fire them, intact as pairs, in a 400ºF oven, for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with sweet or savory accompaniments.]

Preheat a convection oven to 350ºF, with the fan on high. Melt about 125 grams butter for each ½ hotel pan and brush the butter gently but very generously over the rolls. Sprinkle the rolls with salt and put a ½ hotel pan on the sheet pan. Set a timer for 20 minutes, turn the pan, and set the second timer for 15 to 20 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for no more than 10 minutes before turning onto the wire rack to cool, or eat right away.