I want to share with you one of my most favorite recipes that I learned from my little grandma. Now my little grandma was my dad’s mom and she was great. Want to know why? Whenever she came over to babysit she would bring over apple fritters for breakfast the next morning and let me watch Cops while the parental units were out. Yes my childhood included watching lots of ridiculous TV shows like Xena Warrior Princess, Dr. Quinn Medicine Women, and the oh-so-entertaining show, Cops. I was lucky enough to have two pretty cool grandmas who enjoyed cooking and allowed both Camie and I to do things that only grandmas let their grandchildren get away with.
My little grandma would always make these fluffy little buttery bites of heaven for family get-togethers. Nobody could make Parker House Rolls like my lil’ grandma and nobody could resist them either. When Camie and I were little she would always let us play with some of the dough and I am pretty sure I ate a ton of raw dough in the process. Everyone in our family loved these rolls. They are like a great big carby hug for your tummy, and they are totally worth it. P.S. They aren’t even that bad for you!
Parker House Rolls are famous for being super light, buttery, fluffy, and slightly sweet. They are especially hard to resist, you can’t have just one! Traditionally they are flattened into little ovals and folded over to look a little like a half taco, pretty cute. But my grandma just rolls them into balls, classic and adorable, kind of like her. These are so easy to make and you can eat them for every meal. Seriously, scramble yourself some eggs and have a warm buttered roll on the side. I even used these rolls to make sliders from left over steak… delicious!!! I hope you make these rolls one weekend and see how many different ways you could use them during the week. I know what you might be thinking when you see the directions, way too complicated… WRONG! These little cuties are not hard to make, they just take a little time and that’s why I recommend making them over the weekend. Trust me, you will love these rolls!
Little Grandma’s Parker House Rolls
- 4 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter +2 extra tablespoons melted for brushing
- 1 cup milk
- 2cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1-1 ½ cup of all purpose flour (AP flour)
- In a small bowl stir together the warm water and1 tablespoons sugar. Once the sugar is mostly dissolved, throw in the yeast. Let stand until bubbly, about three minutes. If the mixture does not bubble up, throw it out and try again.
- Melt 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter in a small saucepan on medium low heat. Add in the milk and heat until lukewarm. Pour this milk and butter mixture into a large bowl and add yeast mixture, remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, bread flour, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Transfer this loose dough to a stand mixture and add in ¾ cup of all purpose flour. Attach your dough hook and begin to knead on low. When you notice the dough getting sticky, add in up to ¾ cup of AP flour a little at a time. After about 8 minutes or so the dough should look satiny and smooth. When you see that, stop mixing, and put the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel and a dish cloth. Make sure you keep the bowl in a warm place. I like to turn my oven on warm and put the bowl on top of the oven.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, just throw some flour down on the counter and turn out your dough there. Begin to bring the dough together into a ball. Add in your ¾ cup of AP flour and kneed gently. If your dough gets too sticky to handle, add up to an extra 3/4 cup of AP flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough is just slightly sticky.
- Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan. Divide dough into 12-20 equal pieces, depending on how big you like your rolls. I usually make 12 large rolls. Roll each one into a ball and arrange evenly in 3 rows of 4 in a baking pan (or 4 by 5). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cool slightly. Brush the tops of the rolls with butter and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. When the rolls are done, take them out of the oven and brush on a little more melted butter. You know, for good measure. Then sprinkle on a little salt. Cool rolls in the pan for 5 minutes then remove and serve warm.
- Delicious with butter and jam or ham and cheese, the sky is the limit with the puppies!