This is the roll recipe that Sister Schubert was taught to bake when she was 12 years old. This is also the recipe that the Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls in the freezer section of the grocery store were based on. I tried this recipe this weekend and the rolls turned out great.
Parker House-Style Rolls
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
5 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shortening, melted (cooled to 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Combine yeast and warm water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Combine 4 cups sifted flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and shortening. Add eggs and remaining 1 cup sifted flour; stir vigorously until well blended. (Dough will be soft and sticky.) Brush or lightly rub dough with some of the melted butter. Cover loosely with a damp tea towel; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Grease four (8-inch) round foil cake pans; set aside.
Sift 3/4 cup flour in a thick layer evenly over work surface; turn dough out onto floured surface. (Dough will be soft.) Sift 1/2 cup flour evenly over dough. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; brush off excess flour.
Cut out dough using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Pull each round into an oval, approximately 2 1/ inches long. Dip one side of oval into melted butter. Fold oval in half with buttered side facing out (Floured side will form the famous Parker House pocket.)
For each pan, place the fold of 10 rolls against side of prepared pan, pressing center fronts of rolls together gently to seal. Place 5 rolls in inner circle, and 1 roll in center, for a total of 16 rolls per pan. Cover loosely with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake rolls, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: 64 rolls
Whole Wheat Variation:
Substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups all-purpose flour for the 5 cups all-purpose flour listed above. Instead of plain melted butter for dipping the rolls, use 1/2 cup melted butter mixed with 2 tablespoons honey. Bake as directed for Everlasting Rolls.
If you are baking rolls for your freezer, allow the pan to completely cool on wire racks, then slide each pan into a large zipper bag and freeze. Do not stack pans until completely frozen. To reheat, allow rolls to thaw completely and heat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
These are my favorite rolls, and they are yours to bake and enjoy. The secret to the light-as-a-feather texture of these rolls: Don't knead the dough!
Baking yeast bread is not time consuming, but the rising times require your attention. Plan to be at home for a span of 4 hours. The recipe makes 4 pans: one for dinner, two for the freezer and one to share with a friend who will be amazed at your skill in the kitchen!
Where's the best place in your home for the dough to rise? It's your laundry room. Wash a load of towels and put them into the dryer. Cover the top of the dryer with a clean towel and place your dough on top. Be sure to cover the dough loosely with a damp tea towel. Turn on the dryer and close the laundry room door. The heat and humidity create a good environment for yeast activation and your laundry will serve two purposes.
Relax and enjoy the heavenly aroma of freshly baked yeast rolls!
When I baked this weekend, I bake the Whole Wheat Variation. I especially loved the butter/honey combination to dip the rolls in. I may continue to use this with all of my rolls. It wasn't too sweet, but it gave the rolls that extra "oomph". I do like my rolls a little sweeter than these and would probably add a little extra sugar the next time I make them, but that is just me. I'm a sweet roll kind of gal! I either didn't roll my rolls to 1/2 inch thick or my biscuit cutter is larger than 2 inches because I only got 37 rolls out of the recipe. I did really like the laundry room idea to raise the dough and that worked fine for me. I only have a laundry "closet" and with the doors closed it did stay toasty enough to raise the dough even when I washed other clothes and not a load of towels.
I hope you enjoy these. This recipe came out of the Sister Schubert Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters, Recipes for Success, Cooking & Living cookbook. Your can purchase this cookbook at this link.