m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Parker House Rolls

This is Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Roll recipe, cut in half, which I made on request for Thanksgiving; everyone liked their buttery butteriness, so I’m sure they’ll be back again.

I chose this recipe out of the zillions of Parker House Roll recipes out there because I needed an overnight refrigerator rest and didn’t want any of the butter-skimping, low-fat versions. I used lactose-free milk, but otherwise followed the recipe despite some misgivings about the baking powder and baking soda. I baked them on parchment paper, but there was so much butter everywhere that I doubt they could stick to a porcupine, never mind a baking dish.

Note that both sticks of butter get melted on the stove, so they don’t need to be brought to room temperature. To cut down on prep time, you can cool the milk in the fridge or an ice bath, but it’s still going to add up to about 3 hours (with at least 2 hours on the first day for the 2-day option).

Makes about 3 dozen rolls.


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 sticks (1 c.) butter, separated
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ T. (1 ½ tsp) salt
  • 1 ½ T. (4 ½ tsp.) yeast
  • 4 c. flour plus ½ c. flour
  • heaping ½ tsp baking powder
  • scant ½ tsp baking soda


  1. Heat the milk, one stick of butter, sugar and salt through in a saucepan. (You can also do the first rise in the pot, if you start with a big enough pot.)
  2. Let cool about 40 minutes to yeast temperature (95°–115°).
  3. Add yeast and 4 cups flour. Mix.
  4. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Mix in remaining dry ingredients (½ c. flour, baking powder, baking soda).
  6. Knead 8 minutes. (You can start in the bowl, but finish on a board with flour because it’ll be sticky.)
  7. Cover and let rise 30–45 minutes.
  8. Melt other stick of butter in a saucepan. Pour off into a wide-mouthed bowl.
  9. Roll out dough to ½ inch thickness.
  10. Cut out with a 2 ½ inch round or hexagonal cookie cutter.
  11. Score each round across the middle but not through with the dull(er) side of a butter knife.
  12. Dip both sides of each round in the butter, the fold inward on the score mark.
  13. Arrange in two baking dishes or on a large, edged sheet pan. (You can pack them in fairly tightly, since they won’t stick to each other, either.)
  14. If baking immediately, preheat oven to 400°F.
  15. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
  16. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.

Next Day Directions

If you’re making these for the next day, you can refrigerate them before or after the last rise. When taking them out of the fridge, give them half an hour to warm up, plus any rising time you skipped the previous day. Then bake normally (400°F for 15 minutes).