Friday, December 17, 2010

Parker House Rolls



Last year around this time I started getting into baking homemade breads. I asked Santa for a cookbook that was all about bread and he delivered….the only problem is I haven’t been able to devote enough time to the hobby between all my school work. With the holiday coming up, I wanted to try making homemade rolls that I could feature with our holiday meal. I was very pleased with the results, but the rolls should come with a warning…hide them until you are ready to serve dinner. I had a hard time keeping family members away from them until dinner time!

Homemade Parker House Rolls

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3 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 to 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Stir together warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a small bowl until yeast in dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes.

Melt 3/4 stick butter in a small saucepan (or microwave). 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 your 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.

Knead dough until a smooth and elastic dough begins to form, adding all-purpose flour as needed. (I used my stand mixer with the dough hook instead of kneading by hand.) The dough will be smooth, satiny, and just slightly sticky after 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl, turning the dough so that the entire ball is covered. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest in a warm, draft free place until double in size, about 1 hour.

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Divide the 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 roll. Let rolls rise, loosely covered for 15 minutes.

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

Melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter and cool slightly. Brush the tops of the rolls with butter and place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool rolls in the pan for 5 minutes then remove and serve warm.

To reheat rolls, wrap in foil and place in a 375 degree oven until warm.

Source: Joy the Baker, Originally from The Gourmet Cookbook

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