Words by: Becca Manning

Nothing, in my life has ever spoken of my grandma’s love for me like her great talent and sacrifice of making these delicious, warm, classic Parker House rolls.

Every time I would visit my Grandma in Montana, I could expect an abundance of rolls for dinner and an extra tin foil package set aside just for me.

Now, have you every tried to make rolls?


Dough of any sort that needs to rise at a high altitude?

Well, I had never tried making these rolls on my own before she passed away and as it turns out, no matter how good I am at replicating her chocolate chip pie or her fried chicken, I cannot for the life of me replicate her Parker House Rolls. They have turned into little hard nuggets, bigger hard nuggets, flat doughy disasters and burned beyond recognition lumps.

And yet, every holiday season, I soldier forward, reading high altitude baking books, talking to cooks, bakers, grandmas, anyone who may have the secret to replicate my grandma’s rolls. I’m driven by my deep desire to honor her, and replicate the generosity, patience, and love that she exuded in these rolls.

My appetite for my grandma’s rolls helps me understand the appetite the Apostles had for Jesus when he ascended into heaven.

The apostles were left longing for the bread of life that they had just experienced. They longed to be able to replicate His joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self control. Now, what did they have left?

Christ exemplified to them everything they needed to do in order to be like him and do his work through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). Christ knew that they could not do life perfectly, just like my attempts at following my grandmother’s recipe have obviously not been done perfectly. But each attempt at following my grandmother’s instructions, refines me, teaches me, and molds me more and more into her image and her life.

Sisters, we need not be discouraged by our failed baking projects, or seemingly ignored invites to experience Christ. He is refining us through our obedience to his Word. He takes joy in our attempts. He encourages us to keep following him, abiding in him and in his Word (John 15:4). Don’t let the fear of hard nuggets or burnt crisps keep you from experiencing life in Christ.

Grandma’s Rolls

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4½–5 cups all-purpose flour
  • more melted butter

Mix one third of lukewarm milk with the dry yeast in a small bowl and let sit until bubbly. In a large bowl, combine remaining milk, melted butter, salt and sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the beaten eggs and bubbly yeast. Add flour, ¼ cup at a time, beating on high speed of stand mixer.

When the dough gets too stiff to beat, stir in rest of flour by hand. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth. Place dough in greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll out on floured surface to ½″ thickness. Cut with 3″ round cookie cutter. Brush each roll with melted butter and fold in half to make half circles. Pinch edge lightly to hold, so the rolls don’t unfold as they rise. Place in 2 greased 13×9″ pans, cover, and let rise again until double.

Bake rolls at 350°F for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with more melted butter.



I am a recovering workoholic who adores collecting vintage polyester clothing and cook books. Currently I am relearning the joy of reading and writing for fun. God has gifted me with two jobs that I absolutely love and a community of diverse people from whom I can learn.


About Table Traditions:

This October, join me and my friends in the kitchen as they share some of their favorite recipes and foodie traditions. Table Traditions stems from a belief in making a routine meal an occasion to celebrate life and good food. I hope that these stories and recipes will spark some of your own mealtime traditions.

Click here to see all the Table Traditions posts.