Monday, October 26, 2009

Parker House Rolls

It is getting colder in Maine. The days are shorter. The things coming out of my kitchen are more hearty. I have great memories of my mother making beef and barley soup with yeast rolls on cold fall days. I asked her to teach me to make that soup the fall before she died. I have a long list of things that I should have been asking her to teach me! Like knitting and sewing!!

This past weekend I made vegetable and barley soup with these rolls that have been on my "to make" list for over a year. I am going to be making these a lot. I was so pleased with the way they turned out. The texture of the dough is perfect, soft and a little bit chewy. The herb butter gives a great flavor here and there. Plus look how beautiful they are in that pan!!

Parker House Rolls
Source: CHOW
Yield: 32 or so rolls

1/4 ounce (1 packet) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)
1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1/4 cup clover honey
5 2/3 cups bread flour (about 1 pound 14 ounces)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into small pieces, plus more for the bowl and dish
1 recipe Fall Herb Butter, melted
2 teaspoons fleur de sel

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a medium bowl; set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir buttermilk and honey into yeast mixture; set aside.
Stir together flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, make a well in the center, pour in yeast mixture, and mix on low speed until evenly incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Increase mixer speed to medium low and add butter, a few pieces at a time, letting butter completely incorporate before adding more. Mix dough until smooth, elastic, and slightly soft, about 10 minutes total.

Butter a large bowl, place dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with butter.

Once dough has risen, divide in two equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle, keeping the second piece covered with a towel.
Cut the rolled rectangle of dough lengthwise into 5 strips. Cut each strip into 3 smaller rectangles. Measure 2 tablespoons of the herb butter and reserve. Spread a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of remaining butter on a rectangle, fold the rectangle in half, and set aside. Repeat with remaining rectangles. Repeat entire process with second piece of dough.

Arrange rolls seam-side down in the prepared pan, 6 across and 5 down. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third.

Once dough has risen, brush reserved 2 tablespoons herb butter over top of rolls and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Bake until bottom and tops of rolls are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool 5 minutes, and serve.

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