There are a lot of paths to the same destination.
(Sound pretty Zen? I’m having one of those mornings.)
I previously posted an excellent recipe for Parker House Rolls on Blue Cayenne (Here), but learned this new recipe in a Sur La Table class this week.
These rolls are pillowey (is that a word?). Eat them warm just out of the oven spread with some quality jam. Dieting be damned! Warm and fragrant, these rolls are clearly mental health food.
Since I began this post with a moment of personal Zen, here is a beautiful bit of Haiku to close.
As one who loved poetry
– Masaoaka Shiki
Persimmon recipes to follow. Here is a painting of persimmons by Polish artist P. Brodka to get you in the mood.
My adaptation of the Parker House rolls recipe appears below.
- 3 1/2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1/4 C. sugar
- 1 t. sea salt
- 2 1/4 t. instant dry yeast
- 2 oz. softened, unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 C. hot water (90 to 100 degrees F.)
- 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
- 3 oz. unsalted butter (melted)
- Maldon sea salt
- Put 1 1/2 C. flour into the bowl of a large standing mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Add sugar, salt and yeast to the flour and mix at a slow speed to combine. Add the 2 ounces of softened butter to the flour mixture and mix at a low speed for about 30 seconds. (You want some visible pieces of butter in the flour mixture if possible.) With the mixer running at a slow speed, gradually add the water and continue mixing until the water and flour mixture is well combined. Increasing the speed to medium-low, add the egg and beat for about 1 minute. (You will want to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl.) Add the remaining flour (slowly) to the mixture with your mixer on a medium-low speed. Again, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is incorporated, keep running the mixer (remember--you have your dough hook attached) to knead the dough for between 8 and 10 minutes. When your dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl and is elastic, it is ready.
- Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, and set it on a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a ball and put it into a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough over once to ensure that it has oil (or butter) on both sides of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. (You will see a lot of rise with this dough.)
- Gently remove the dough from the bowl and set it on a lightly floured surface. Push down on the center of the dough to release some of the gas bubbles. Very briefly knead the dough into a smooth ball. Then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a round that is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Brush the top of the dough with butter.
- Once you've rolled out your dough, cut it into 12-18 equal pieces.
- Fold each dough piece in half. (This is the signature fold that makes a Parker House roll authentic.) Place the folded rolls into a baking pan with sides. The rolls should be close together but they should not overlap. Once you have placed all the rolls into your pan, cover the pan with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm place to rise. The rolls should double in size during the rise. This will take approximately 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the tray of rolls into the oven and bake for 16-18 minutes. When the rolls are done they should be a pretty light to medium brown color on top and their interiors should measure about 190 degrees F. on an instant thermometer.
- Remove from oven. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with Maldon salt. Enjoy!