I decided to give my go-to roll recipe a break and try a new one. Coming from the 75th Anniversary edition of Joy of Cooking, I like that these rolls are easy to split for spreading with butter and jam. Although they tasted great, I served these cool, but I think they might have been a tad better if they were warm. But that's true of any home-baked good! :) I also changed the size of the rolls to be slightly bigger than the recipe suggest. When I baked these babies up, I noticed that the cooking time of 15 minutes was too generous, so I adjusted the time here to say 12-15 minutes (I baked mine for about 12.5 minutes). But I would suggest checking the rolls around 10 or 11 minutes just to make sure they aren't getting too brown.
Parker House Rolls
1 cup milk
2 Tbl butter, softened
1 Tbl sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl warm water
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 large egg, optional (I used it)
3-1/3 to 3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
melted butter (I didn't use)
Heat milk until it is warm, about 105-115* F (I microwaved it for 1 minute). Stir in the softened butter, sugar, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the water and let stand until yeast is dissolved, or about 5 minutes.
When the milk mixture is lukewarm, stir it into the yeast mixture. If using, beat in the egg. Stir in part of the flour and then knead in the rest (I just kneaded the dough in the bowl). The goal is to have a dough that is easy to handle. Place finished dough in an oil bowl, and if wanted, brush the top with butter. (I didn't use the butter. Instead, I turned the dough over in the bowl once, so the surface of the dough was coated with oil.)
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Roll the dough into a 30 inch long rope and cut into 30, 1-inch pieces (I cut it into 18 pieces.) Roll each piece into a ball and flatten it into a 2" round. Using the handle of a knife or a rolling pin, score across the middle of each roll. Fold rolls over on the crease and lightly press edges together. Place about 2-inches apart on greased aking sheet. Let rise in a warm place until light, or about 35 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425*F. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool. (I brushed the tops of my rolls with butter while they were still warm. I find it helps the tops to stay softer longer.)