The term Parker House refers to the folded-over rolls made famous some 100 years ago at the Parker House hotel in Boston. Although these rolls take some time to make, they are beautifully soft with a chewy crust and will make a lovely addition to your holiday table.
What to buy: Fleur de sel is a luxurious extra to sprinkle over these rolls. If you can’t find any or don’t want to travel too far, other sea salt, such as Maldon, works fine.
Game plan: If you have a scale, use it to measure out the flour for this recipe. Accurately weighing the flour will result in a more successful dough.
1Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a medium bowl; set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir the buttermilk and honey into the yeast mixture; set aside.
2Stir together the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the yeast mixture, and mix on low speed until evenly incorporated, about 2 minutes.
3Increase the mixer speed to medium low and add the measured unsalted butter, a few pieces at a time, letting it completely incorporate before adding more. Mix the dough until smooth, elastic, and slightly soft, about 10 minutes total.
4Coat a large bowl with unsalted butter, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with unsalted butter.
5Once the dough has risen, divide it into 2 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle, keeping the second piece covered with a towel.
6Cut the rolled rectangle of dough lengthwise into 5 strips. Cut each strip into 3 smaller rectangles. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the melted herb butter. Spread a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining herb butter on a rectangle, fold the rectangle in half, and set aside. Repeat with the remaining rectangles. Repeat the entire process with the second piece of dough.
7Arrange the rolls seam-side down in the prepared baking dish, 6 across and 5 down. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third.
8Once the dough has risen, brush the reserved 2 tablespoons of herb butter over the top of the rolls and sprinkle with the fleur de sel. Bake until the bottoms and tops of the rolls are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool 5 minutes, and serve.