Parker House Rolls

This recipe originated at Boston’s Parker House Hotel in the 1850s. They’re sometimes called pocket-book rolls because of their shape.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 3 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1⁄2 tsp. active dry yeast (2 packages)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 cups bread flour


  • In a large bowl, combine milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Add egg, half the butter, remaining sugar, salt, and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Melt remaining butter. Let it cool, but remain liquid. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll flat to 1⁄2 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles. Dip both sides of circles into melted butter, fold in half, and place on prepared pan, 2 inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Bake proofed rolls until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.