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
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3½ 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 8–10 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 two 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 ½" thick. Using a 3" round biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles. Dip both sides of circles into melted butter, fold in half, and place on prepared pan, 2" apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Bake proofed rolls until golden brown, about 15–20 minutes. Cool completely.