I Tried 2 Famous Recipes for Parker House Rolls (2024)

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Sheela Prakash

Sheela PrakashSenior Contributing Food Editor

Sheela is the Senior Contributing Food Editor at Kitchn and the author of Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. She received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and is also a Registered Dietitian.


updated Oct 15, 2019

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I Tried 2 Famous Recipes for Parker House Rolls (1)

Ever since my sister-in-law decided to start baking Parker House rolls for Thanksgiving a few years ago, our holiday has been better for it. After they were polished off in record time, we knew it would be a new holiday tradition, and now it’s one every single one of us looks forward to.

Parker House rolls are just about the most buttery, indulgent dinner rolls around. And while I love my sister-in-law’s recipe, I was curious to see how others fared in comparison, so I baked up a batch of two of the most popular ones on the internet — Martha Stewart’s and Ree Drummond’s — to compare. Here’s how things went and what I thought.

The Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Rolls

The Pioneer Woman’s Parker House roll recipe makes enough to serve an entire ranch. So if you’ve got a large family, that alone makes them a winner. If you’re feeding a smaller crowd, however, a yield of 72 dinner rolls might be a little daunting, as it was for me. Luckily, the recipe halves easily, if needed.

The recipe calls for more than a pound (!) of butter, so I felt pretty confident they’d stand out just based on that. In reality, there actually seemed to be too much butter. To form the rolls, you roll out the dough, cut it into circles, dip the circles into melted butter, then fold them in half and place them on a sheet pan to bake. This method made the circles extra slippery, and it was tough to get them to seal shut. Instead, I folded them first and then brushed the folded rolls with butter. One other important note: The dough doesn’t take well to being re-rolled, so some of the scraps were wasted.

All that butter means the rolls brown quickly. While the bake time is 15 minutes, mine were golden at 10 minutes and almost too brown at 15, so be sure to keep an eye on them.

Finally, while the recipe was straightforward, it’s not the most Thanksgiving-friendly, as it does require a good deal of time and attention. There aren’t any make-ahead instructions, but I do think you could form the rolls, freeze them on a sheet pan, then bake them when needed following this method.

Overall Rating: 7 out of 10

These rolls were messy to make and all that butter didn’t actually result in a better end result, although they were definitely soft and tasty.

Martha Stewart’s Parker House Rolls

Martha Stewart’s recipe started off shaky, as the amount of salt differs between the ingredient list and instructions. After scrolling through the comments, I learned I should use what’s listed in the instructions: 2 1/4 teaspoons. Then, the recipe tells you to beat the dough in a stand mixer on medium-high speed for 10 minutes. One minute in and my mixer was struggling with the weight of the dough, so I switched it to low speed for the same amount of time and still got a perfectly soft, smooth ball of dough. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, I think it would work to knead this by hand.)

While the baking time says 30 minutes, mine took almost 40 minutes to get golden-brown. I’d recommend starting to check them at 30 minutes, knowing they could take five to 10 minutes more. Also, the recipe calls for sprinkling the rolls with salt immediately after they come out of the oven, but the salt just fell onto the sides of the rolls instead of sticking to the top. Instead, I’d recommend sprinkling them with salt before baking, after brushing with half the melted butter. Then, like the recipe says, I’d brush the remaining melted butter on right after they’re done baking.

The resulting rolls were extra tender and tasted just as buttery as Ree’s, even though they called for much less butter. They looked really nice and homey all tucked into the baking dish, and if I were serving them for Thanksgiving, I’d serve them right out of the vessel.

I also appreciated how the make-ahead options were so clearly stated in this recipe, which really lends itself perfectly to Thanksgiving.

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10

The instructions and baking time were a little off, but once I straightened these things out, the rolls were a classic and perfect fit for the holiday.

Recipe: Khalil Hymore’s Parker House Rolls, via Martha Stewart

Do you have a favorite Parker House roll recipe? Tell us in the comments!

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I Tried 2 Famous Recipes for Parker House Rolls (2024)


Why is Parker House roll famous? ›

These feather-light, buttery rolls were a 19th-century staple of the Parker House, a famous Boston hotel — the same hotel that in 1855 created the first Boston Cream Pie.

How long does it take to cook a Parker House? ›

To make Parker House Rolls for 24 people, allow close to three hours of total cook time. About 25 minutes of that will be active hands-on prep. This dish has a lot of time for rising and doubling, so you can certainly make it while you're working on the main dish and other sides.

How long does it take to thaw Parker House rolls? ›

Some estimated thaw times (at room temperature) by product are:
  • Dinner Yeast Rolls 45-55 minutes.
  • Parker House Style Rolls 75-90 minutes.

What is Parker house style? ›

A Parker House roll is a bread roll made by flattening the center of a ball of dough with a rolling pin so that it becomes an oval shape, and then folding the oval in half. They are made with milk and are generally quite buttery, soft, and slightly sweet with a crispy shell.

Why are my Parker House rolls dense? ›

Over-kneading can cause dense dough. Knead only until the dough is smooth. A slow rise may also mean your kitchen is too cold. In that case, just pop the dough in a cold oven (do not turn it on!) and place a pan of boiling water on the rack underneath.

How do you reheat Parker House rolls? ›

To reheat the Parker house rolls, cover the pan with foil and place into a 350°f / 180°c oven for 10-15 minutes to re-warm, then remove the foil and warm for a further 2 minutes or so with the foil off to make sure there isn't any moisture hiding on the rolls, then finish with the melted butter. Make ahead and freeze.

How many calories in a Parker House roll? ›

Trader Joe's Parker House Rolls (1 roll) contains 25g total carbs, 24g net carbs, 5g fat, 4g protein, and 160 calories.

How long does it take to cook a frank? ›

You can choose to boil your hot dog in water or beer, depending on your preference. Regardless of the your liquid choice, one refrigerated hot dog should be boiled uncovered for four to six minutes. Once it is done, remove the hot dog from the pot and place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain the liquid.

How long do you cook savs for? ›

Savs are best cooked by placing into boiling water for 10 – 15 minuets or until heated.

Does Chick Fil A use Sister Schubert rolls? ›

Pickles and Chick-fil-A sauce on them lends flavors to their classic chicken sandwich. Does Chick-fil-A use Sister Schubert rolls? Yes! Sister Schubert is the brand Chick-fil-A uses for their chicken minis.

How do you cook Sister Schubert's Parker House rolls? ›

Remove plastic bag and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Place on middle rack of oven for 25-35 minutes or until desired browning has occurred on top and bottom. To serve 2-4 rolls, break off desired number of rolls. Heat in preheated oven at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until desired browning has occurred.

How do you defrost Parker House rolls quickly? ›

oven rack. Preheat oven to 200°F. THEN TURN THE OVEN OFF. Put rolls in the oven and let thaw and rise until double.

Where did Parker House rolls get their name? ›

Where did they come from? The rich, folded rolls originated in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1870s, according to Foodicles. They were created at the Parker House Hotel (hence the name Parker House roll), which now goes by the title of the Omni Hotel and is also where the famous Boston cream pie was invented.

Where was the original Parker House? ›

Boston, Massachusetts

What is the Omni Parker House famous for? ›

The Parker House created Massachusetts' state dessert, Boston Cream Pie; invented the Parker House roll; and coined the word "scrod," which is not a kind of fish, but a term for the freshest, finest, and youngest white fish of the day.

Where did dinner rolls originate from? ›

Where Did Parker House Rolls Come From? Parker House rolls originated at the Parker House hotel (now the Omni Parker House) in Boston in the 1800s. We spoke with the Omni Parker House house historian Susan Wilson who gave us the full history of these iconic rolls.

What is a house roll? ›

noun. : a roll made by folding half of a flat circular piece of dough over the other half.

What is the history of dinner rolls? ›

Where did they come from? The rich, folded rolls originated in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1870s, according to Foodicles. They were created at the Parker House Hotel (hence the name Parker House roll), which now goes by the title of the Omni Hotel and is also where the famous Boston cream pie was invented.


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