Parker House Rolls
These feather-light, buttery rolls were a 19th-century staple of the Parker House, a famous Boston hotel — the same hotel that in 1855 created the first Boston Cream Pie, serving both rolls and pie to the likes of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
So what makes a Parker House roll special? Butter. A buttery fold during the shaping process (and butter brushed on after they're baked) give them over-the-top flavor. An egg, milk, and a fair amount of butter in the dough give them fine and tender texture. All in all, this Boston-based roll is a bread-basket classic.
One more note: the "original" Parker House roll recipe calls for the dough to be cut in circles, dipped in butter, and folded over. However, having tried this rather messy process in the past, and ending up with rolls that popped open in the oven, rather than hold their shape (and their buttery pocket), we opted for a slightly different method.
The result? Softly rounded rectangular rolls, looking very much like the rolls served these days at the Omni Parker House hotel — still a Boston landmark after all these years.