If there’s something I look forward to every Thanksgiving, it’s Parker House Dinner Rolls. These pillowy soft yeast rolls bake up golden and fluffy. And with a generous brush of butter and sprinkle of sea salt, they’re totally irresistible.
I’m going to show you how to make foolproof Parker House Dinner Rolls, step by step. And trust me, they’ll be the only rolls you’ll ever need!
What are Parker House Rolls?
The traditional Parker House Roll is made from a yeasted dough that is flattened, brushed with butter and then folded in half. Then it is brushed with butter on top too. So there’s butter inside and butter on top. Oh yes.
They get their name from the Boston Parker House Hotel and date back to the late 1800s.
Classic Parker House Rolls are made with milk and a little bit of sugar or honey for sweetness.
What’s in these Parker House Dinner Rolls
Here’s what you’ll need to make these addictively buttery rolls:
We drink nonfat milk in our house, so that’s what I use in most recipes. I don’t think it matters what kind of milk you use, so use what you have.
Same thing for the butter. Unsalted butter is what we have in the house, so it’s what I used when testing this recipe. If you want to use salted butter, just reduce the salt in the recipe by 1/2 teaspoon.
How to make Parker House Dinner Rolls
This recipe deviates from the original style of folding the dough in half. I tried that method for years, and they never puffed up big enough for my liking. So instead of the fold, we are going to roll the dough up instead.
Here are the steps:
- Imagine making cinnamon rolls. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape and brush the entire surface with butter.
- Slice the rectangle in half, crosswise, so it’s easier to work with.
- Roll the rectangles up from long end to long end, jelly roll style.
- Then, cut the long jelly roll into pieces and line them up in a baking dish. That’s exactly what we’re doing here. It’s like making cinnamon rolls, only not.
The result is a super puffy, slightly sweet, very golden and buttery dinner roll that is perfect for any holiday table.
Can you make Parker House Rolls ahead of time?
There’s no question that these Parker House Rolls are best when served still warm from the oven. But there is a way to make them ahead and still get the best result. Just refrigerate!
Refrigerating dough will stop (or very much slow) the rising process. So once you’ve formed the rolls and arranged them in the baking dish, cover them with plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge. They’ll stay that way until you’re ready to bake them, even as long as overnight.
If you decide to completely bake these Parker House Dinner Rolls ahead of time (not recommended, but still okay to do), just reheat them a little in the microwave before serving. You’ll love unraveling the swirls of buttery, salty dough as you dig in to your turkey and gravy.
When you make these buttery Parker House Dinner Rolls, I’d love to hear what you think! Drop a rating or leave a comment down below. And enjoy!
For more yeasted dough recipes, try these:
For more holiday recipes, try these:
Parker House Dinner Rolls
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter room temperature, divided
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup warm water 110-115 degrees
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- flaky sea salt for finishing
- Dissolve yeast in the warm water, about 10 minutes.
- Combine 4 Tbsp. butter, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Warm the milk gently in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir it into the butter mixture.
- Whisk in the yeast mixture and egg. Then stir in the flour.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead 7-8 minutes. The dough should be smooth.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with a wet dish towel and let it double in size, about 90-120 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and dump it back onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle measuring 13"x15". Melt 4 Tbsp. butter and brush it onto the dough. (There should be some butter left over for finishing)
- Cut the rectangle down the middle, crosswise, so there are two smaller rectangles side by side. Roll each rectangle from long end to long end, jelly roll style. Cut 10 even pieces in each rectangle, for a total of 20 pieces.
- Use the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter to coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange the rolls in 5 rows of 4, leaving 1/2" of space between each roll. Cover with a dish towel. Let rise 45-60 minutes. (the rolls will expand slightly, but will not double in size)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden. Brush with remaining butter and sprinkle generously with sea salt.