Friday, 21 November 2008

Tyler Florence Fridays - Parker House Rolls


This week in Tyler Florence Fridays, I decided to make the Parker House Rolls from one of his new books, Stirring the Pot. You know me, I am a bread girl - life is too short to go without good carbs!
This is the first time I have made these rolls and I was thrilled with how soft and buttery they turned out. Tyler has them baking in a 9x5 pan but I used a 10 (somewhat fluted) inch round ceramic pan so I could have short, fat little pillows. These would be great for dinner rolls, all they need is some plain butter. I have served them with every meal since making them yesterday. They are really good.

Parker House Rolls - Stirring the Pot, page 216.
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water ( 110-115f)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing rolls
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Combine yeast with warm water and the sugar in a kitchen stand mixer bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to dissolve and activate yeast. In a small saucepan heat 6 tablespoons of the butter and the 1 cup whole milk over low heat; stirring occasionally until butter melts. Add the milk mixture to the yeast. Using the hook attachment on the mixer, fold in the bread flour and salt. Gradually add all-purpose flour to make a dough. (Add only enough all-purpose flour as you need, the dough should come together in a ball that is neither too wet nor too dry.)

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead five to six times until dough is smooth and elastic (do not overwork dough or rolls will be tough). Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place for approximately 1 hour until the dough had doubled in volume.

Butter a 9x5 inch baking dish. ( I used a 10 inch round) Form the dough into 12 to 14 equal-sized balls. Arrange the balls in the baking dish so they are in rows just touching one another, then cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then the towel. Set aside to rise again. Once they have doubled in volume again (about 40 minutes), use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip the tops of each bun twice, forming an "x". Set aside for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375f. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the rolls with milk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a rack. Serve with butter.

*Tyler includes a recipe for garlic-parsley butter with the rolls, much like herb butters that I make often at home. I did try the rolls with an herb butter, but I feel that the rolls are too delicate for a strong butter. Plain salted is best. I buy salted for the butter bell and unsalted for baking. Somehow the unsalted is unsatisfying on toast!
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