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Parker House Rolls | Recipe and History

New England's classic Parker House Rolls are crisp and buttery on the outside, tender and light on the inside, and always delicious.

4.50 avg. rating (86% score) - 4 votes
Parker House Rolls

Fresh from the oven Parker House Rolls.

Aimee Seavey

Parker House Rolls are one of New England’s many trademark culinary offerings, and one that is perfect for this time of year, when the weather turns cool and we start thinking about comfort food and holiday dinners. Whether you are serving roasted turkey, hearty soup, or spaghetti with marinara, there should always be an accompanying basket of warm, buttery rolls to bite into and help clean your plate.

Parker House Rolls are a homerun. A crisp, buttery exterior makes way for a soft, tender crumb that steams when broken apart.  In addition to their dinner table pedigree, they are equally delicious slathered with butter and jam at the breakfast table. This was how I enjoyed them on a recent morning.

Parker House Rolls

Parker House Rolls: Part of this complete breakfast!

Aimee Seavey

The rolls are named after the Boston hotel where they originated during the 1870s. Legend has it that a disgruntled hotel baker threw a batch of unfinished rolls into the oven after an altercation with a hotel guest. When the rolls emerged from the oven, they had a distinct folded “pocketbook” shape that made them light and puffy on the inside, while staying crisp and buttery on the outside.

Parker House Rolls

Crisp and buttery on the outside, tender and light on the inside.

Aimee Seavey

The oldest printed Parker House Rolls recipe on file is from an April 1874 issue of the New Hampshire Sentinel, and they have been a favorite in homes and restaurants ever since.

Make a large batch this fall for a family dinner, or freeze the rolls for a warm, toasted, buttery addition to any meal, at any time.

GET THE RECIPE:
Parker House Rolls Recipe

This post was first published in 2011 and has been updated. 

Comments
  • I have used this recipe many times it is the best! Sadly i lost it and I came back to the article but the link for the recipe no longer works. Could someone please let me know how to find this recipe from the original recipe PLEASE

    Reply
    • Hi Ayres. We’ve corrected the link to the Parker House Rolls recipe. Thanks for letting us know!

      Reply
  • Just made these tonight and they’re just wonderful! Definitely stay within the 2.75 biscuit cutter; they’re a big riser!

    Reply
  • I love the story behind these- it’s always so fascinating how mistakes or errors often result in deliciously famous products. Of course these also look divine

    Reply

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