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Retro Parker House Dinner Rolls Find New Life In Top Restaurants

February 5, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Parker House rolls, named after Boston’s Parker House Hotel where they originated in the mid-nineteenth century, are bucking a couple of trends in the U.S. baking industry. First, the bread and bakery products market is projected to grow at a dismal 1.5 percent from 2020 to 2023, but Parker House rolls are surging, at least among chefs. And second, they are supremely “anti-artisanal:” in fact, it’s hard to find a “whiter” dinner roll in this era of low-carb, high-protein diets. But the modest Parker House roll is finding a home in the kitchens of top restaurants across the country. Prominent San Francisco Bay Area chef Joshua Skenes, for example, has been making the rolls for eight years. His lard-glazed version is pre-baked then finished beside an open hearth and served piping hot with high-fat butter. The secret to the Skenes version is fresh-milled flour, he says. Cookbook author Mitchell Davis says Parker House rolls are the prime example of the “casualization” of chefs’ desires to upgrade homey foods.[Image Credit: © Sabine Schulte from Pixabay]
Larissa Zimberoff , "Why classic white bread dinner rolls are suddenly trendy", Bloomberg/Longview News Journal, February 05, 2020, © Longview News-Journal
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