Parker House Rolls
The cooks of Freetown loved making yeast bread. Rolls were particularly good for sopping up sauces or gravies from the braised rabbits, quail, and guinea fowl we ate in the fall. We made rolls in a variety of shapes, and the Parker House rolls always reminded me of a folded envelope as we flipped the dough over.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Mealbreakfast, brunch, dinner, lunch
Taste and Texturebuttery, light, savory
Type of Dishrolls
- 1 cake (½ ounce) yeast or 1 package dry active yeast
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter plus extra for dough
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 4 cups sifted flour
Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. Place the remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, lard, and salt in a bowl. Heat the milk to a scald and pour into the bowl containing the butter mixture.
Stir until all is dissolved. When lukewarm, add flour and stir well. When halfway mixed add in the dissolved yeast.
Mix well, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, place in a draft-free place of approximately 80°, cover with a towel, and set to rise until it is double in bulk.
Push the dough down gently and spoon onto a flour-dusted surface and roll out a little less than ½ an inch thick.
Cut with a round biscuit cutter.
Butter the surface of each circle of dough. Fold in half and as they are finished place side by side almost touching in a baking pan. This should be done very quickly, the yeast dough will be rising all the while.
Preheat the oven to 425°.
When rolls have risen to almost double their size and are light to the touch, set them into the oven, turn oven down to 375°, and bake for 20 minutes.
1976 Edna Lewis