Herbed Parker House Rolls are a classic American bread roll that are characterized by their soft and fluffy texture, slightly sweet flavor, and buttery finish. These rolls are typically made with all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, salt, eggs, and a generous amount of butter, which gives them their signature rich taste and texture. What sets Herbed Parker House Rolls apart from other bread rolls is the addition of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, and thyme, which add an aromatic and savory note to the rolls.Jump to Recipe
The history of Herbed Parker House Rolls can be traced back to the 1870s, when they were first served at the historic Parker House Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Legend has it that the rolls were invented by the hotel’s pastry chef, who was inspired by a recipe for French crescent rolls. The original recipe for Parker House Rolls did not include herbs, but over the years, various chefs have added their own twists to the recipe, including the addition of fresh herbs. Today, Herbed Parker House Rolls are a popular accompaniment to holiday dinners, brunches, and special occasions.
Making Herbed Parker House Rolls requires some patience and skill, but the results are well worth the effort. The dough is made by combining the dry ingredients with a warm liquid mixture of butter, milk, and water, along with eggs and chopped herbs. The dough is then kneaded until it becomes smooth and elastic, before being left to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, it is divided into small pieces, rolled into balls, and arranged in a greased baking dish. The rolls are left to rise again before being baked in the oven until they are golden brown on top.
When served warm, Herbed Parker House Rolls are irresistibly soft and fluffy, with a delicate crust and a rich, buttery flavor. They pair well with a wide variety of dishes, from roasted meats and vegetables to soups and salads. These rolls can be made ahead of time and frozen for later use, or enjoyed fresh out of the oven for a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Herbed Parker House RollsDifficulty: Medium
This recipe is rated as moderate difficulty, as it requires some kneading and patience to make the dough and shape the rolls. However, it's not overly complicated and should be manageable for most home cooks with a little bit of practice.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, rosemary, and thyme)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- In a separate microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter, milk, and water together until the mixture is warm (not hot) to the touch.
- Add the warmed liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the eggs and chopped herbs.
- Mix everything together until it forms a soft dough. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This should take about 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface again. Divide the dough into 20 equal-sized pieces and roll each one into a ball.
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, and place the balls of dough inside, leaving a little bit of space between them.
- Cover the dish with a clean kitchen towel, and let the dough rise again until it has doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.
- Remove the rolls from the oven, and brush them with melted butter while they are still warm.
- Serve the rolls warm, and enjoy!
- To make sure your dough rises properly, it's important to give it enough time and keep it in a warm, draft-free place. You can place the bowl of dough in a turned-off oven with the light on, or in a warm spot in your kitchen.
- When you're kneading the dough, be patient and don't rush the process. The dough should be smooth and elastic when you're finished, which can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how vigorously you knead.
- When you're shaping the rolls, try to make them as evenly sized as possible so that they bake evenly. You can use a kitchen scale to weigh the dough and divide it into 20 equal portions.
- If you don't have fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs instead. Just remember to use less (about 1-2 teaspoons instead of 2 tablespoons), since dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh.
- These rolls are best eaten fresh, but you can also freeze them for later. Just let them cool completely, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer for up to a month. To reheat, wrap them in foil and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.