According to my investigations (which amount to nothing more than looking it up on Wikipedia), Parker House Rolls are named after the Parker House Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.
This is a basic soft, white bread recipe – flour, milk, yeast, eggs, butter, salt, sugar. Knead. Rise. Form. Proof. Bake.
The recipes in MSBH are very concise, almost to a fault. The size of the rolls is one area where I wish they would have elaborated a bit more. I used a ruler to make sure my measurements were precise, but as you’ll see, I still had too much dough and too little pan.
There are a couple of photos of the Parker House Rolls in the MSBH, one of the formed rolls in the pan and another of finished product. In forming my rolls, I tried to follow the minimalist instructions and the visual aid the photos provided.
Clearly, I had too many rolls for the size of pan, as the photo above is before proofing! In hindsight, I should have eliminated an entire row of rolls, but I can never bear to throw out dough and didn’t want to bother with another pan.
Poofy and ready for the oven!
Well, needless to say, they look like the poor man’s version of the Parker House Rolls featured in MSBH. But! I learned a lot about what not to do the second time around. I tend to be that kind of baker – the kind that needs a test-run – especially with the minimalist approach in MSBH. With these rolls, I know I need to give the rolls more room in the pan. I also learned I need to use more butter when forming the rolls, making sure there is enough to let the rolls keep their fold.
The taste and texture were great – a very soft, silky white dinner roll with a firm golden crust.