Parker House Rolls

Dear Boston,

In a matter of days, I will be leaving.  I’m sorry.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I’m in need of a change.  I need to go to a place that is simultaneously new to me, yet feels more like home.  I need to make certain career decisions now before it’s too late.  And okay, I lied a little when I said it’s not you.  I can’t stand your winters anymore!

But Boston, it’s been great while it lasted.  Thank you for all the things you’ve given me these last six years.  The vibrant beauty of fall, and a new appreciation for summer after long winters.

The Charles River with its criss-crossing bridges.  The charm of Commonwealth and Newbury.  The chance to explore New England.  Restaurants and cafes that I’ll miss dearly.  And the most perfect, light-filled first grown-up apartment a girl could have asked for.

Most importantly, thank you for allowing me to find some truly amazing friends during law school and afterwards.  Leaving them breaks my heart.

And because my mind never strays far from food, thank you for Parker House rolls.  A Boston classic from the Omni Parker House, they’re slightly crispy on the outside but soft and pillowy on the inside.  And so, so buttery.  Thank you, Boston.



Parker House Rolls

From Joy the Baker

3 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 – 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Proof the yeast by stirring together warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a small bowl until yeast in dissolved.  Let stand until foamy, about five minutes.  Mixture should be foamy if yeast alive; if it isn’t, it means your yeast is dead and you need to start over with new yeast.

Melt 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter in a small saucepan.  Add the milk and heat until lukewarm.  Pour into a large bowl and add yeast mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, bread flour, and salt.  Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Stir in 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.  Dump out onto a clean work surface and begin to bring the dough together into a ball.  If dough is too sticky to handle, add up to 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough is just slightly sticky.

Grease a large bowl with oil or butter.  Knead until a smooth and elastic dough begins to form, adding more all-purpose flour as needed.  The dough should be smooth, satiny and just slightly sticky after 10 minutes.  Form dough into a ball and place greased bowl, turning the dough so that the entire ball is covered.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Butter a 9×13-inch baking sheet.  Divide dough into 20 equal pieces.  Roll each one into a ball and arrange evenly in 4 rows of 5 in a baking pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Using a floured chopstick or the edge of a ruler, make a deep crease down the center of each row of rolls.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rise for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  Brush the tops of the rolls with butter and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool rolls on baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove and serve warm.  To reheat, wrap rolls in foil and place in oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.


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Filed under Bread, Life

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