Parker House Rolls

Five Little Chefs – Parker House Rolls

   We LOVE fresh rolls at home. When we all saw Parker House Rolls from Alex Guarnaschelli we had to make them. Alex had a pony tail on the Next Iron Chef.  Each time we watched the show Little Chef D said she wanted the girl with the pony tail to win.


  We buy yeast in a large container, so Little Chef A measured out 2 1/4 teaspoons and combined it with the warm water using a whisk. After one minute she measured out and added one cup flour and mixed it together again. She was being very soft and dainty only stirring the top part. I told her she can’t hurt it, stir harder, it all needs to combine. 


   In the mixer Little Chef A combined the milk and melted butter.

Next was her favorite part, EGGS! They each have their own method and I love watching each one. Little Chef A hits the eggs very daintily on the counter which doesn’t do much, then she digs her thumbs in the shell until it cracks and pulls it open.

The yeast mixture was then scraped into the mixer. It was very difficult for her to scrape it out of the bowl and hold the bowl at the same time. She needed a lot of help with this step.

Next the salt was added then the flour.

   We talked about how it doesn’t matter if she measured out the flour exactly because we have to look and touch the dough to know if we need more flour. As the mixer first began mixing in the flour she said, “I think it was too much.” I said, “Let’s wait and see.” After not even a minute she said, “It’s working.” She was surprised the flour mixed in so well when it didn’t look like it was going to. Little Chef A touched the dough and found it wasn’t sticky and decided we didn’t need anymore flour.
   Now she needed to figure out how to get the dough out of the mixer. I showed her how to pull the parts out, but she needed to pull the dough off the paddle. That did require her to get her hands a little dirty which she immediately washed.

  After the dough had time to rise it was turned out onto the counter, then pressed into a rectangle with her hands
  Little Chef A was then very excited to use a pizza cutter to section the rolls.  I helped a bit by pointing where a straight line should be, not that she ended there!

We found a video online with this recipe. Little Chef A knew exactly how to fold the rolls and had them done quickly ready for a second rise.


When the rolls came out they smelled wonderful. The girls loved them. I thought they were a little dense. I don’t think the yeast bloomed perfectly to get a fluffy roll. Little Chef A said the next day as she was having one for a snack, “These aren’t as fresh as yesterday.” She was correct, but then again nothing is as fresh the next day!

Parker House Rolls

Alex Guarnaschelli


  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus softened butter for brushing
  • 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling


Bloom the yeast.

Measure out 1/2 cup warm water and check the temperature: It should be between 110 degrees F and 120 degrees F (comfortable bathwater temperature). Sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl, add the warm water and whisk in the sugar. Let sit 1 minute (it should bubble and froth slightly), then gently stir in 1 cup flour. Set aside near the stove while you prepare the dough.

Make the dough.
Mix the melted butter and milk in a mixer with the hook attachment on low speed. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Scrape in the yeast mixture and mix until incorporated. Add 6 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon salt; mix until the dough forms a ball, 2 to 3 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour if the dough is too wet and sticky.

Let it rise.
Brush a large bowl with softened butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place, 2 hours to 2 hours, 30 minutes. The dough should double in volume.

Shape the dough.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a clean flat surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands; gently press the dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (don’t use a rolling pin).

Cut the dough.
With the short side in front of you, cut the dough in half lengthwise with a floured knife. Then slice crosswise into 12 strips.

Shape the dough.
One at a time, fold each strip of dough unevenly in half so the top part slightly overlaps the bottom half, then tuck the overhang underneath. Place the rolls seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet in 3 tightly packed rows. (If making in advance, wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 weeks.)

Bake the rolls.
Bake until the rolls are bursting at the seams and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. (If frozen, bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees F, then 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.) Remove from the oven and brush with softened butter. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.



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