Sunday, 19 June 2011

Phoenix Park 2

The Wellington Monument was somewhere we always enjoyed going for picnics when we were small. It obviously still hasn't lost its attraction for young children - just as I was leaving a mother arrived with her two young boys who raced each other up the steps.

Recently when we had friends coming for lunch over the weekend I thought I'd make Parker House Rolls. The name was so familiar that, when it came to getting out the Joy of Cooking and reading the recipe, it was a shock to discover I had no memory of what they looked like, and I had to do a bit of online searching to get an idea. It's a well-worn page in the book, with all the conversions from US to Imperial pencilled in by my mother, so I think she must have used it as a basic bread dough. Anyway, they were delicious that day, so I made them again on Friday since we were just using up some leftover tomato and rice soup for dinner.

Parker House Rolls:  this recipe says it makes 30 2" rolls. Well, mine must have been way too big; I used a 3" cutter and  got 14 and a little round roll. But any smaller than I made them and I don't see how they could possibly take the advised 20 minutes to cook - mine were done in less than 15 minutes.

1 cup / 8 fluid ounces milk
1 tblsp sugar
2 tbslp / 1 ounce butter
1/2 cake / 1 sachet yeast (I used 1/2 ounce fresh yeast)
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
2 5/8 cup flour - I used a cup to measure, but this would be something over a pound but under a pound and a half
melted butter

Scald the milk, add the sugar and butter, and when it's cooled to blood heat add the yeast and leave till active.
Normally I don't bother with scalding - I think it's one of those hangovers from old days ,when it was necessary to kill any bacteria. But in this case I needed it hot enough to melt the butter, so I went with what the recipe said.

Sift most of  the flour and the salt into a large bowl. Add the egg and the yeast mixture and knead well to make a soft and very light dough. It's important not to use too much flour, but obviously you need to be able to work with the dough, so use enough flour for a soft but manageable dough.
Put in a clean bowl, brush with melted butter and leave to rise.
Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/2" thick and cut into rounds with a floured cutter - I used my largest one, which is about 3 inches.
With the handle of a knife dipped in flour press a crease along the centre of each roll.
Not in the Joy recipe, but one of the ones I found suggested brushing with melted butter at this stage, which I did. Fold the rolls over along the crease line and press together lightly.
Place in rows on a floured tray, cover and leave to rise till doubled.
Bake in a hot oven (425F, 220C)  for 15 - 20 minutes, serve warm.

I should have taken a photo, really, but there weren't very many left after dinner! Next time...

1 comment :

  1. It's got to be a real treat to visit you with all the wonderful recipes that you have and make. What lucky visitors!