Parker House Rolls

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The Parker House Hotel, Boston in 1880 was a pretty grand affair.

The Boston Parker House Hotel 1880

It was built in 1855 and refurbished in 1927.

The Omni Parker House Hotel, today 

It was home to 'The Saturday Club ', whose membership ran to an esoteric group of writers and poets including Longfellow, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Charles Dickens. 

It was also home to the famous Parker House Roll. Invented during the 1870s, it has become a firm favourite on dinner tables over the years and across the world.

It's also reputed to be the most haunted hotel in New England. Havey Parker, himself, and his bell-man, John Brehm, are supposedly to 'walk' the 10th floor. 

I wonder if rooms on the 10th floor are discounted?  

Anyway, in 1896, Fannie Farmer published the recipe in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book; the rest, as they say, is history.

Fannie Farmer

INGREDIENTS (makes ten rolls)

450 gms strong white bread flour

180 gms tepid milk

1 beaten egg

1½ teaspoon crushed sea salt

10 gms caster sugar

25 gms unsalted butter

1 teaspoon active yeast

for internal pasting and sealing

50 gms melted butter


1. Add the flour, salt, sugar and butter to the bowl and combine thoroughly.

2. Add the yeast, and beaten egg and mix well.

3. Add the milk and combine it into a sticky mix. 

4. Knead the mixture until you have a soft and smooth dough. 

5. Tip into a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to double in volume. 

6. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, knead gently for a few seconds and then roll out to 1 cm (½ inch) thickness.

7. Cut out ten rounds using a 3-inch (7.5 cm) cutter. 

8. Using the wooden end of a mixing spoon, make a depression 1 cm wide along the radius of each round.

9. Using the melted butter, brush the round to within 1cm of the edge. Fold over, making sure that the top of the dough just overlaps the bottom. Press down lightly on the folded edge. 

10. Place on a baking sheet, brush with more melted butter, cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. 

11. Preheat the oven to 200⁰C. 

12. Bake the rolls for 15 - 18 minutes until golden.

13. Brush with the remaining butter and cool on a rack. 

Happy baking.....



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