Classic Parker House Rolls

November  2, 2015
13 Ratings
Photo by Yossy Arefi
  • Makes 16 rolls
Author Notes

For this classic recipe, I turned to a classic cookbook: The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. The original recipe calls for shortening, which I know many people like to avoid, so feel free to substitute unsalted butter in the rolls. I also cut the sugar and upped the salt from the original recipe to suit my personal tastes. —Yossy Arefi

What You'll Need
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water, at 110° F
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening or unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed just slightly
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • flaky salt, for sprinkling
  1. Whisk the yeast and water together. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the shortening, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the milk and egg. Add the foamy yeast mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Add the flour and stir until a dough forms, then knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and will probably stick to the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F, melt the butter, and brush a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with butter. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  5. On a floured surface, roll one dough piece into a roughly 12- by 6-inch rectangle. Brush the surface with melted butter and fold the dough over lengthwise. Cut the folded dough into 4 pieces. Lay the folded rolls in the prepared baking dish, slightly overlapping. Repeat with the remaining dough, then brush the rolls with butter. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise for 30 more minutes.
  6. Bake the rolls until golden brown and puffed, about 30 minutes. Brush the warm rolls with butter and sprinkle with the flaky salt. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • jlriddell
  • Peg
  • Nikki
  • Elizabeth
  • walkie74
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

11 Reviews

jlriddell November 26, 2020
cover while letting the dough rise? also pls respond to question about "whisking " with the dough hook or thr actual whisk attachment.
Peg November 22, 2019
Yo, Food52! I think you should disable the comment/review/question function on a blog post if no one is every going to check on it and answer any questions! Moving on to a different recipe since this one has been abandoned.
Nikki June 30, 2019
Can I make these if I don’t have a stand mixer?
Elizabeth June 1, 2016
these were the official Thanksgiving roll last year. They didn't last very long - great recipe!
walkie74 December 24, 2015
I turned these into split rolls and baked them at 350 for 15 minutes, then cooled them to finish baking for Christmas dinner. I haven't been allowed to bring food to a family gathering since the great burned bread incident of's time for justice!
Nechica December 21, 2015
I would say to wisk egg and milk in a separate container before adding to the mixer with dough hook.
needhelp December 17, 2015
Sorry, meant to ask, "Are you suppose to use the metal hook to combine the shortening, sugar, and salt and then change to a whisk attachment for the milk and eggs and then change to the paddle attachment to combine the yeast mixture?"
needhelp December 17, 2015
Not sure if I understand the instructions: (I have never made bread before) Instructions state, "In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the shortening, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the milk and egg. Add the foamy yeast mixture and stir to combine"
Are you suppose use the metal hook to combine the dry ingredients and then change to a whisk attachment to "whisk in" the milk and eggs, and then change to the paddle attachment to combine the yeast mixture?
Kim W. November 22, 2015
I made a test batch of these a couple of weeks ago and froze them after baking. They thawed and reheated beautifully. ( hour at room temperature and 5 minutes in a warm oven 325) wrapped in foil.
Katie H. November 18, 2015
same question as above^
Shannon J. November 17, 2015
Can these be frozen? If yes before our after baked?