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A big pan of buttery Parker House Rolls waits to be eaten on Thanksgiving. You can see a sprinkle of salt crystals on top.
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5 from 4 votes

Parker House Rolls

These traditional rolls are easier that you might think and have a wonderful buttery flavor with just a hint of sweetness. They can be made in advance and baked right before dinner.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 36 rolls


For the dough

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. instant yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

To finish the dough

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • flaky sea salt optional


  • In a large, microwave safe bowl: heat milk, water, and butter in the microwave for 30-60 seconds just until it is pleasantly warm to your finger.
  • Whisk in sugar, salt, and yeast. Some lumps of butter will remain.
  • Whisk in 1/2 cup of flour and the egg.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir in the remaining 3 cups of flour until a dough forms.
  • Spray a large wooden board and your hands liberally with canola cooking oil spray. Place a damp rag between the board and the counter to keep the board from moving around. Knead the dough on the greased board for 5 minutes. Set the board aside to use again for rolling the dough out.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place in a oiled mixing bowl. Turn dough to coat and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about 90 minutes.
  • Melt the 1/2 cup butter and brush some into a 13x9 baking dish.
  • Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces.
  • Spray the cutting board with canola spray again. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll each piece into a 12"x6" rectangle. It helps to have a ruler handy and measure as you go instead of eyeballing.
  • Cut the rectangle lengthwise into three strips. Each should be 2" wide. Cut each strip across so that you have a total of 9 pieces of dough, each the size of a 4x2" rectangle.
  • Brush half of each rectangle with melted butter and fold over with the butter side in. Lay the rolls into the pan overlapping a bit like roof shingles. Put 4 across and 9 down the length of the pan.
  • Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the rolls until they are a deep golden color on top, 25-30 minutes.
  • Brush cooked rolls with butter again and sprinkle on a bit of sea salt if desired. Serve warm.


The salt is yummy if you eat all the rolls the day off.  It makes leftovers a bit strange because the salt soaks into the bread a little and makes white spots.  I used a lot of salt in the photo because it was so fun to sprinkle it on!  I would recommend about half as much, but it is a personal taste choice.