Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All-Around Wonderful Parker House Pull-Apart Rolls

This is my 100th post on here! Good thing I have a great recipe for this joyous occasion. :) In my great search to find a good roll recipe, I think I did it. I pre-made these for Thanksgiving (freezing is easy!) so I only cooked 3 just to see if they were good. Wow. It's dangerous that I found a roll recipe this good. Seriously. DANGEROUS. Plus, they'll be super cute when they're baked!

You wanna know what's also dangerous? Not following directions. I tend to ignore things like "room temperature" and "cooled"....well, those are very necessary directions or you'll end up with this...

Gross. I had to make an emergency trip to the grocery store last night to replace the butter and milk that I ruined. And the beans for last night's dinner because I forgot to soak some. So it was somewhat beneficial. ;) Plus, I learned that with bread recipes, just follow the directions use the correct ingredients, and do some preparation.

Parker House Pull-Apart Rolls
from Alex Guarnaschelli for Food Network Magazine
Makes 24 rolls
  • 1/4 oz package active yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water, warm - about 110°rees;
  • 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 Tb. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tb. kosher salt
  • Softened butter for spreading

About 1-2 hours before making the dough, set your milk and eggs on the counter to get to room temperature. If you're worried about bacteria, like me, the husband suggested this precaution: tightly cover the measuring cup of milk with plastic wrap to avoid contamination. This step cannot be skipped. From experience, people. About 30 minutes before making the dough, melt the butter and let it cool. 

Preheat the oven to 375°rees;F. If you are freezing the rolls, you can skip this step...unless your apartment is naturally freezing. Then, you may want to leave the oven on and put the finished dough on top of the stove to rise. Just a suggestion.

In a medium-small bowl, whisk the yeast and sugar together while adding the warm water. Let this foam for about a minute. 

Add 1/2 cup flour to the yeast mixture. This mixture will be very gummy and gluey. Just warning you not to use your already cracked favorite spatula. Because it may not be up for the job. RIP favorite spatula. :( Let the starter sit by the warm stove while you prepare the dough.

I do not own a stand mixer. This makes me sad. And makes it somewhat difficult when directions are geared directly toward stand mixer-ownin-people. So, either with your stand mixer dough attachment or your regular beaters on your hand mixer, combine the milk and butter - BOTH at room temperature. Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated. That looks much better, dontcha think? :)

Add the starter and mix until fully incorporated.

This is one of my favorite things about the recipe. Adding all the flour at once instead of little by little. Affix the dough beaters on your hand mixer if you're using one. This step will be half done by mixer and half by hand if you're using a hand mixer and then all done by mixer if you're using a stand mixer. 

Add 6 1/2 cups flour and 1 Tb. salt. If using a stand mixer, mix 2-3 minutes or until the dough forms a ball on the hook.

If you're using the hand mixer, I brought my dough to this point before my little mixer started getting whiny and pretty hot. So I did the rest by hand. 

I incorporated the rest of the flour in the bowl and then did some kneading on a lightly floured surface. About 4-5 minutes worth or until the dough ball looked like this...

smooth and shiny! At this point, I was ridiculously excited because this was the best lookin roll dough I had ever made. 

Grease a large bowl (or stock pot in my case since all the dishes were with softened butter or spray. I used a combination of both. I don't like the spray touching the dough (weird flavor IMO) so I use butter for the bottom and spray for the top just to make sure it slides out easily.

Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place (on top of a heated stove is my favorite because it provides heat without cooking or warming the dough) for 2-3 hours. Mine took about 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach this height...

Whoa! That's a lot of dough. I'm not a dough puncher. Too violent. What did flour ever do to you?! So lightly press down on the dough to release the air.

Slide the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Lightly spread the dough out into a large rectangle...Do not knead or press down hard on the dough!

I'm not very good at shapes. I ended up with pentagon. so I just cut off the edge to make a rectangle and used that dough for my trial rolls. 

Cut the rectangle down the middle. Then cut slices across. Be sure to do some math before cutting. Mine was easy because I needed 2 "loaves", one for each side of the family. I did 9 cuts across to get 18 rolls, 9 on each loaf. You can adjust this to your needs/wants.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take each slice and fold 1/3 over. Then, take the folded part and fold it again over the rest of the strip. Then line up the rolls, touching, into rows. This way, when the rolls bake, they will join together into a "loaf" and have to be pulled apart. 

If baking right away, put in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. This what my three trial rolls looked like. And they were yummy too!! (Excuse the picture - my camera died at the end - AGAIN. This is like the 4th time the camera battery has died for the LAST pictures!)

If you're freezing for later, wrap tightly (but try to avoid pushing down the rolls!) with plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. When ready to bake, let the rolls sit on the counter for about 20 minutes (not to thaw, just to warm the tray up a bit so it doesn't crack in the oven. Bake 25 minutes at 325°F and 10 minutes at 375°F. 

And by the way, the test rolls...taste AHHHMAZING. They were a double the size of those so they were still a little doughy inside but at normal size and fully cooked, these babies will be addictive. I'll post more pictures of them after they're made. There are some gorgeous pictures here of the finished product and more of the folding process to make it easier. :)

Have a wonderful and delicious holiday everyone!! Until next time...♥

Finished pictures of these delicious rolls! I would prefer them to be less dark next time but that really is due to a crappy apartment oven. :)

With melted butter and sprinkled with salt = savory heaven!


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