Every year my mom makes parker house rolls for Thanksgiving. They are a lot of work and always end up amazing. I have always wondered if there’s an easier way to achieve their fluffy texture and golden crust.
It turns out this is possible by turning the rolls into a delicious, moist and fluffy loaf. No forming and folding individual rolls, no brushing every nook and cranny with egg wash and butter. No double proofing. Plus, a slice of bread has more surface area for butter so it’s really an all around win situation.
This recipe makes a loaf of bread that cuts into eight or nine thick slices of bread. It’s very easily doubled (or even tripled) to serve a crowd so you can make enough for everyone at your Thanksgiving table.
1/2 cup half and half (whole milk will work as well)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast (about a quarter of a packet)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
sea salt for sprinkling
butter for serving (I prefer salted with this recipe)
- Start the rolls an hour before baking and two hours before serving.
- In a pot over medium heat, bring to a boil half a cup of half and half and one tablespoon of butter.
- Once boiled, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, sift together one cup of flour, and a pinch of salt.
- In a measuring cup, dissolve yeast into a quarter cup of lukewarm water and add half a tablespoon of sugar. Allow to sit until it begins to bubble slightly.
- Once the cream and butter mixture is cooled, add it to the flour and salt.
- Then add the yeast and water to the bowl and mix together until smooth.
- Cover the mixture with a dishtowel and allow to rise for an hour in a very warm place (but not warm enough to cook the mixture).
- Once the mixture has risen to double its size, add a cup of all purpose flour and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda.
- Mix to form a wet dough.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- For the dough into a loaf and put the loaf in the lined pan.
- Beat an egg with one tablespoon of water and brush this mixture over the top of the loaf.
- Sprinkle the loaf generously with sea salt.
- Bake the loaf for 25- 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaf springs back when touched.
- Serve warm with salted butter and enjoy!