Sourdough Parker House Rolls

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This recipe is included through the electronic okey-dokey of Trysha Mapley  Visit the page for Mapley’s Morsels BY CLICKING HERESourdough Parker House Rolls recipe Copyright © 2011 by Trysha Mapley.  Contact her to obtain permission for republication.


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, serving both rolls and pie to the likes of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Having lived in the Deep South for many years, I fell in love with Parker House Rolls thanks to Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls, found conveniently in the freezer at the local Piggly Wiggly. Serious eaters in the South swear by them and I have to admit, they are absolutely wonderful and one of very few convenience foods I bought and served my family without reservation.

Now. Try finding a pan or two of Sister Schubert’s Parker House Rolls inAlaska…

For Thanksgiving in 2010, I offered to make the rolls for our family dinner. Wishing for a couple of pans of Sister Schubert’s, and after surveying a number of “copycat” recipes, I decided to try my hand at making a small-batch, Sourdough version of the classic Parker House Roll. They turned out beautifully, warm and buttery with a wonderfully soft and airy texture, almost a little like brioche. Before baking, I sprinkled my rolls with poppy seeds, something I can’t imagine Sister Schubert doing, but they would certainly be lovely plain! Enjoy!

Sourdough Parker House Rolls
3/4 cup warm water
1 t. yeast
1 t. sugar
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/4 cup melted and cooled shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup butter, melted

In large bowl, mix water, yeast, and sugar together and let the yeast sit for five minutes until foamy. Add starter and shortening. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and salt. Mix in flour mixture. Cover loosely and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Grease 2 (8 inch) round cakepans; set aside.

Punch dough down; turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead about 10 times. Divide dough in half.

Roll 1 portion of dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut into 16 rounds using a floured, 2″ biscuit cutter. Pull each round into an oval, approximately 2 1/2″ long. Dip one side of oval into melted butter. Fold oval in half with buttered side facing out.

For each pan, place the folds of 10 rolls against the side of prepared pan, pressing center fronts of rolls gently to seal. Place 5 rolls in inner circle, and 1 roll in center of pan for a total of 16 rolls in pan. Repeat entire procedure with remaining half of dough.

Cover loosely and let rise again in a warm place, free from drafts, for about an hour or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake rolls uncovered for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 32 rolls.

Grandpa’s Twist

Each of these is about the size of a tennis ball, and then flattened slightly.

Each of these is about the size of a tennis ball, and then flattened slightly.

Roll sections of the dough about the diameter of a paper towel roll
Cut into half inch disks
Place in groups of three together on baking sheet
Roll lightly together, then flatten slightly
Let rise for about an hour
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned

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