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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Parker House Rolls - Plain Rolls #2

Recipe tried out in Oct 2011

Wait.... you must be thinking these look like clams... LOL.
Cute and very delicious! 

1. It has a beautiful crisp but tender crust but once u bite into you, you are welcomed with soft bread. It's like having a micro thin shortbread as crust, get what I mean?
2. It is very buttery, and I didn’t even slather on more butter. Yummy!

Parker house rolls are characterized as buttered twice, once on the inside and once on the outside before it’s being baked, which explains the crispy tender crust and its buttery flavor. And they come folded! It is invented by the Parker House Hotel in Boston and is still served today.

These rolls are made using all purpose flour and the texture is different from those made from bread flour, the gluten strands don’t look that long but it’s soft when warm. I’ve seen some recipes using half bread flour but I just want to try out this recipe with all all-purpose flour as per the recipe to see how it’ll fare. After eating these rolls, I think bread flour should never be used in this recipe, if not it'll lose that shortbread crust. The long kneading with bread flour will not give you this type of mouthfeel. So, I'll still stick to 100% all purpose if I'm making these again

I chose a flour with a higher protein content. Nowadays all purpose flours comes in packages with nutritional value and you can see the protein content. Some comes with 9% protein, some 9.5% some 9.8%. And I have all 3 at home. Hahah! I use 9% for cakes n pastries, and 9.5% above for bread/pau. And for general flour dusting either one goes. Which explains why some say, this flour is nicer for cake, that not nice for cake. Although all are all-purpose flour or plain flour that you can get from any grocery shop. So, maybe now you’d know why. Whether the flour is nutritionally enriched or not… Frankly I don’t bother to pay double for the minor “human added” enrichment. I can easily enrich it with eggs and milk and all other natural sources of good nutrients. I just look at the protein content and price. But I won’t mind paying for organic flour, because if it has goodness in it, it’s not added by humans on purpose.

Best eaten when warm to enjoy the special crust. It's ok, eaten after cooled down for few hours, but the special crust is gone by then due to moisture from within the bread. Just reheat in a hot oven to enjoy the crust again. These rolls didn't last any longer than 18 hours in the house. Gone!

Although this recipe is good, but I already have plans in my head for minor twitching, haha..
Oh yes, if you don't mind the tackiness, you hand manually knead it. Don't be tempted to add more flour.

Parker House Rolls
Source: Martha Stewart
Recipe converted to metric with minor adaptations : Wendyywy

450gm all purpose flour (select those with protein levels 9.5% above)
50gm sugar
5gm salt
250gm milk
1 large egg
75gm butter
10gm instant yeast

50gm butter, melted and left to cool to room temperature(still liquidy, but thick)

1. Combine everything except butter and form a dough. Put in butter and knead on speed 2 for 10 minutes (if manually kneading, knead until it is longer sticky, but the dough is a bit tacky)
2. Cover and let dough proof until double. (Mine took 1 hour 45 minutes because my milk, butter and egg are all cold)
3. Divide dough into 24 pieces (about 36-38gm each) or 16 pieces (about 55gm each) roll them into round balls.
4. Lightly flatten them and brush surface with butter. Fold into half. Arrange on baking tray. Repeat with all the dough balls.
5. Brush remaining butter onto folded dough. Finish up the butter, be generous.(need that butter to create that "shortbread" crust)
6. Let dough proof for 30 minutes and bake them for 15 minutes in a preheated oven 150/170C.

And I had a helper

She loves baking bread.. or let's say, play with dough.
But she eats whatever she makes. So, it's ok.
And she demands to eat her own products, even though it's deformed, to her, that's art.


  1. These rolls are so lovely. I bookmarking.

  2. These look really yummy. If a butter-lover like yourself don't need extra butter, it means the buns are really nice.

    Lyanne so cute. I am sure she will be helping you out in the kitchen more and more as she grows.

    Are you using imported flours? Usually our local AP flour don't state the protein content

  3. hanushi,
    i hope u love this

    Poh Lin,
    Got la. Cap Lili, Kapal, Sauh, all got la. There's a nutritional label on the packaging.

  4. these reminds me of the cake that Doremon likes to eat :p

  5. Bestnya ada assistent comel...memang enjoy ada yang meneman kat dapo kan Wendy...:)

  6. I must go back & see again. I never thought to look at the nutitional info. Dunno why but I always imagine that it will be written on the front.

  7. They look like baked man tao! haha. I can smell the butter through the screen, I swear.

  8. have make me excited the hands are itchy to make bread :p Nice one and I can imagine how good these buns are !

  9. Oh.... such a lovely buns you have made there. It must be yummy! Guess I should put up my apron to made this too!

  10. i guess these must be less chewy than normal rolls? they look like lips..swollen lips..LOL!

  11. small kucing,
    errrr... dorayaki is flat

    cik cek,
    kalo dia tak kacau, best la. ada kala nak ambik pisau, nak ni nak tu.. tensyen

    poh Lin,
    LOL, there is, on the bottom. in small print

    Haha, that geng!

    Oh good, itchy is good!

    Please do!

    you want to french kiss these LEEEEEEEEEEEEPS?
    *pouty mouth*

  12. usually I don't use plain flour to make bread if no overnight sponge dough or water roux added to it.

    But your bread texture here is really encouraging! It looks so soft!

  13. Ooo....does look pretty good! So use plain flour with higher protein level? Since I've not made bread with plain flour fr the longest time, I can't remember how the crusty or mouth feel is like. Ok, when I run of of bread flour but still want to bake bread, I know what to do, lol! Thanks!

  14. I agree with Lena, looks like lips, especially the 1st pic.....hehehe

  15. I used all-purpose flour a lot. But now only reliase the protein level is different among different Brands. I guess that's why the $ are different although stated all-purpose flour.

  16. he he he, look like dentures....he he he, sorry lah....can't stop laughing when I think of my grandma dentures....he he he

  17. I can imagine the taste of the buns by just looking at it. Crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy one the inside. Seeing your bread makes me want to make some too but I have to go and replenish my baking ingredients first.

  18. Such a great post Wendy. And that little helper is adorable. I am sooo hungry now.

  19. It's been ages since I've made Parker House rolls. yours look delish!!

  20. There is no doubt you are having so much fun in the kitchen. Your family is very lucky, especially your two lovely girls. I am sure they
    will have lots of fun in the kitchen too when they grow up.

  21. Ah Tze,
    Yes... With water roux and those preferment added in, it could extend the freshness. Bread made with all purpose stales very quickly.

    It's the generous butter that is brushed on, combined with the starch content of all purpose, gives you the shortbread feel kind of crust.

    Hahaha.... so u want to lock lips with these buns too??? Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuah.

    Actually, those with diff protein levels do not differ much. It's whether it's enriched or not.
    When it's enriched, then it cost almost 30-40% extra.

    Hahahaha, Dentures? Hahaha.
    Send these to the dentist will ya, hope he buys them for the customers, hahaha.

    Go go go, replenish quickly. I can't wait for summer and see you go crazy with California's produce.

    If she helps, she's a helper. If she doesn't, she's a messer, LOL.

    I hope you make some soon again

    I hope they catch the kitchen bug from me. ;)

  22. This plain roll is new to me, makan dengan Kopi O pun sedap!

  23. hi wendy, just finish baking this recipe of yours.. i use 400 superfine flour + 50 high protein flour=the dough is very soft and the result is good too..oh my, it is delicious. thanks for sharing..

  24. Janet,
    Gawd, superfine to make bread? Now this is really new to me.
    I tried once using superfine to make pau, and it turned crumbly really fast after cooling down. For me, if i were to subtitute, I'd go 50% of each instead.

  25. ooo..superfine isn't good to make bread?? i thought i add 50gm high protein flour will be alright..tell u the truth i just simply grab whatever flour i have in my fridge and didn't think much of the protein contain.. what is the different from all purpose to superfine?? silly me eh..

  26. oh ya, when the roll turn cold the outside is crispy while inside is soft..dunno if next day will be the same? may be i mistaken the superfine to all purpose flour.hahaha..sometime mistake also can get the good result.

  27. Janetan,
    The protein content of superfine is lower than all purpose, hence makes cakes softer and finer. and it will cause bread to be crumbly. Crumbly breads are not nice.
    Wah, so long oredi still crispy ah? Good!
    If turn hard the next day, just reheat it in the oven for a while and it will be fine.

  28. oh wendy,
    the next day, bread become hardd a bit crumbly too..guess i have to experience again using just what u use in your recipe..

  29. Janet,
    Eh, reheat will be ok one.
    Furthermore, after you reheat u can experience the special crust again.

  30. wendy,
    you are definitely right..the superfine ain't for bread,still hard even after i steam it.. but i use it to make kimchi(homemade) sandwich, oh my, delicious. because of it buttery fragrant and i added some fried onion into it too..

  31. i attempt to try this recipe using high protein flour + a bit of wheat flour ...i get from bakery shop...

    hopefully can be as success as urs..

    by following ur recipe... really will make my family fat, i bake bake bake non stop, and eat eat eat non stop... ~.~

  32. Luyi,
    U can, but somehow the intense kneading of bread flour will not give you the same type of crust. Crust of bread from bread flour tends to be chewier.

  33. Hi... I just wonder... If I'd like to try this recipe using a breadmaker (by selecting the "dough' function in the breadmaker), should I follow your recipe to the T? TQ :)

  34. KB,
    I think single dough function will be ok to use.
    My bread recipes since 2012 are all made using KA, instructions based on that.

  35. Hi your recipe calls for all purpose flour, any reason not using bread flour since we are making... Erm bread :p

  36. irenekay,
    Not all breads call for bread flour.


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