Posted by: hyacinthus | November 18, 2009

65°C water-roux starter (Chocolate Wassant)

It’s a boring rainy afternoon surfing for recipes to try till I saw Florence’s recipe – 65ºC Chocolate Wassant.

What’s that? It’s a simple method called 65°C water-roux starter which can replace bread improver / softener that makes your bread super soft (even after a day or 2 if u keep in an air-tight container) – just like Petit Provence‘s (crust is crispy though)!

(A) 65°C water-roux starter

Ingredients (Basically, 1 part bread flour + 5 parts water)
50g bread flour
250ml water

Method (I have a microwave that can heat up to the desire temperature. For the details how others did it, read this)

1. Heat water to 50°C in a microwave in a microwave safe container.

2. Dissolve bread flour in the water. Put it back to microwave and heat to 65°C. Stir the mixture again.

3. Leave it to cool till room temperature as I work on the chocolate layer.

(B) Chocolate Layer

40g cake flour
100g sugar (I regret halving the original recipe. A little bitter… my advice is to add 120g cos cocoa is bitter and the dough is not sweet!)
2 egg white
160ml milk
40g cocoa powder
20g butter

1. Mix cake flour, sugar and egg white till smooth.
2. Heat the milk in a saucepan and stir in the cocoa powder. (Careful about this part… I added all at one go and there were lumps that are hard to dissolve… 😦  )
3. Add in the egg white mixture stirring till thicken and dry. (Nearly char here… must turn to low heat and stir continuously!)
4. Stir in the butter and mix till all butter is incorporated.
5. Leave to cool and measure out 300g of the chocolate paste. Put this chocolate paste into a freezer bag and roll it into a rectangular shape of size 22cm x 14cm. (My freezer bag is 20.4cm x 17.8cm… not a big issue as I realised later.)
6. Keep refrigerated for at least 2 hours before using.

(C) Dough

250 – 270g bread flour (I added alot more cos the dough was so sticky! Mine was 300g bread flour!)
70g cake flour
20g skim milk powder (I used my mum’s Anlene Milk Powder for 51 plus… haha…)
100g water-roux starter (see above)
5g salt
40g sugar
25g egg yolk + 115g warm water (I didn’t bother to measure this. Just use the 2 egg yolks separated)
8g dry yeast (I used all of SAF instant dry yeast which is 11g per sachet.)
26g butter (I melted this in the microwave first. Hate to cut butter into small pieces and work with them in the kneading process)

1. Put all ingredients into the bread maker, select the Dough cycle and let the bread maker knead and prove the dough- which is about 100mins. (I didn’t have a bread maker. Not a concern. Use a wooden spoon to mix and knead. It worked all the time for me anyway. See how much it grew in size after 45min! More than twice! 🙂 )

2. When the dough cycle is completed, remove the dough and punch out the air. Roll out the dough into a rectangle of size 31cm x 22cm. (This was a hassle to measure. Basically this dough should wrap the chocolate layer. Do use a plastic sheet as shown below because this dough is very sticky and wet to handle with your hands! See how I do it!)

3. Place the chocolate layer on the middle of the dough. Fold in both ends of the dough to cover the chocolate layer completely. Seal all the edges tightly..
4. Turn the dough 90°. Roll dough till it is about 60cm x 22cm. (If you didn’t flour the surface, this is very difficult to do!)
5. Fold the dough into 4 folds. Turn dough 90C. Roll dough into a 54cm x 22cm rectangular sheet. (I didn’t follow the dimensions…)

A palette knife was used to cut these triangles.

6. Cut into triangular pieces of base 9cm and height 22cm. Roll triangular pieces from the widest part. (Personally, I felt the dimensions given was too big for a chocolate wassant. From one triangle of the original dimension, I managed to do 3 chocolate wassants instead. See picture.)

7. Prove* for 50 minutes at 35°C. (*Cover these with a wet clean cloth.)

8. Apply egg wash and bake at 175C -180C for 18 – 20 minutes. (I used milk to apply instead and baked at 180ºC)

These were what I had at the end. Super soft bread with slight crisp on the outer layer.


1. You must grease the baking tray or place a baking sheet. Otherwise, good luck removing them from the baking tin. (Tip: When applying a glaze before baking, be careful not to “glue” the loaf to the rim of the loaf pan or the baking sheet. This not only will make it difficult to remove the loaf from the pan, but can prevent the loaf from expanding fully in the oven. Use a clean, soft pastry brush to apply the glaze.)

2. Use a large transparent plastic sheet (at least 60cm x 30cm) and floured to work on the (wet and sticky) dough. You can also have the measurements placed underneath the plastic sheet

3. I wanted to achieve Petit Provence’s standard. i.e. their outer layer is soft unlike mine with a slight crisp. Perhaps, I’ll reduce temperature to 160ºC and bake slight longer… 25 min?

Will try again (when I buy more bread flour) 🙂


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