Thanksgiving Test Batch: Parker House Rolls

By: Kirsten Vala
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One side effect of working as an editor for FoodNetwork.com is that you end up thinking about Thanksgiving starting in June, craving mashed potatoes all through the summer. This year, as I waded through Thanksgiving recipes on our site, familiar old faves and great new takes, I decided that this was the year I would revamp my family’s Thanksgiving bread basket.

Sometime in July I decided I would bake Alex’s Parker House Rolls for Thanksgiving — they look soft, buttery and oh, so classic. But this is one recipe I decided to take for a test drive before the big cooking extravaganza of Thanksgiving, where every bit of counter and oven space needs to be carefully budgeted and coordinated. So, like sydney1212, the latest reviewer of this recipe (glad I’m not alone), I baked a test batch of these rolls over the weekend.

I was amazed at how easy they were to mix together — there are only a few ingredients to this recipe. The dough is nice and soft, not sticky at all, and pliable. After it rises for a few hours you just pat it out gently, cut it into strips (use a ruler for uniform rolls) and shape the rolls super simply ( see Alex’s step-by-step if you have trouble visualizing). Then, after a mere 18 minutes in the oven, they’re golden, steamy and ready to eat. I even put half of my test batch in the freezer to see how they keep — making them ahead seems like the best option for the Thanksgiving feast.

Along with these successful Parker House Rolls, I think I’ll round out my bread basket with Anne’s Cranberry Orange Quickbread and maybe the Neelys’ Honey Cornbread Muffins, both easy and fast.

Cranberry Orange Quickbread; Anne Burrell

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

And what do you do with a dozen fresh Parker House Rolls if you test them out on an October afternoon? I made Bobby’s Throwdown Sloppy Joes for dinner.  They were the best Sloppy Joes ever.

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