The Best Parker Rolls from Nightbird

The best parker rolls by Kim Alter of Nightbird restaurant in San Francisco. These buttery rolls are perfection!


Nightbird and it’s incredible backroom bar, the Linden Room, are two of our favorite culinary destinations in Hayes Valley. We loved every bite of the tasting menu at Nightbird. Everything we was outstanding, but chef Kim Alter’s Parker Rolls were some of the best Parker Rolls we’ve had and were totally addictive. If you’re not into cooking, go for dinner and enjoy the freshly made parker rolls.

Kim makes amazing food, and is very approachable. She stopped by our table at the end of our dinner, and we gushed about our meal and the rolls. She was so sweet—not only did she pack up extra Parker Rolls for us to bring home, but she also agreed to share the recipe with us.

Nightbird’s Parker Rolls are the perfect balance of buttery and sweet. You have to try them! We plan to make these for Thanksgiving and even maybe Christmas dinner this year. If you make these Parker Rolls for a holiday meal, your guests will be coming back for more. Honestly, they are so good, you could make them anytime. We’ll probably even make extra, because they would be perfect to make leftover sandwiches after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

You’ll need a kitchen scale for the recipe as it is measured in grams (more accurate than cup measurements). We have this one and love the pull-out, backlit display. We actually like to measure with a scale when baking, because you can continually zero it out and add the next amount.

Kim noted that she has found that the Parker Rolls do best if you freeze the dough and then take the dough out the next day (or whenever you are going to use it) and let it thaw. This makes it even easier to prep ahead of time and pull out when you need them.

If you’re looking to learn more about baking, check out books like this or this.

Parker Rolls, Nighbird
  • 375 grams bread flour
  • 375 grams all purpose flour
  • 30 grams sugar
  • 10 grams kosher salt
  • 525 grams whole milk, plus extra for brushing
  • 27 grams fresh yeast
  • 175 grams tempered butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • Fleur de sel salt
  1. Add the flours, sugar, salt, and milk to the bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer and start on speed 1.
  2. Add the yeast last.
  3. Mix on speed 1 for 4 minutes.
  4. Move to speed 2 and slowly start adding the tempered butter for 5 minutes.
  5. Bring back down to speed 1 for 4 minutes. Everything should be incorporated.
  6. Take the dough out of the mixer, wrap in plastic, and place in the freezer overnight or longer.
  7. When you're ready to use, remove the dough from the freezer and let it thaw.
  8. Once it is thawed, weigh out the dough in 45 gram balls.
  9. Heat your oven to 400°F.
  10. On a quarter sheet pan, place parchment paper, and coat with vegetable oil.
  11. Roll the dough into perfect circles and place on the tray. They are normally about ¼ inch apart. On a quarter sheet tray you should be able to fit 20 (4 by 5).
  12. Proof the rolls, allowing them to rise until all the balls are touching.
  13. Mix the egg with a splash of milk in a small bowl, and brush the mixture on top of the rolls.
  14. Sprinkle with fleur de sel salt on top.
  15. Bake for 8 minutes, and then rotate and bake for 7 more minutes.
  16. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
To temper butter, you'll want to slowly heat the butter while whisking it, so that it is opaque and doesn't break into a clear and opaque solution.

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