Place all of the ingredients except those for the cocoa dough in the bread maker to make the dough. Once it has proofed once, take it out and split it in half.
Put half of the dough back into the bread maker along with the cocoa and soy milk to make the cocoa dough. (It should be mixed together after about 6 minutes)
Split the doughs into 16 equal parts in total and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Punch the dough down to remove the gas and reform it into balls. Attach some ears.
When doing that, push a toothpick into the area between the ear and where the ear is attached. (If your toothpick leaves a little hole, that should be enough pushing.)
For the parts you want to attach, pierce the dough a little with a toothpick and push. Bring the toothpick down slightly and push hard, press the parts onto the dough with your fingers, then remove the toothpick.
For the nose, use the side of the toothpick to score a border before the second proving and this should make it difficult for the nose to come off. (The image is of a penguin but...)
Proof for a second time at 30°C for 30 minutes. If it's hot then you can also leave them to proof at room temperature.
Bake for around 20 minutes at 180°C...
Use some pure cocoa powder mixed with warm water (not specified in ingredients) to draw on some faces and you're done.
By putting this method to use you can come up with these... (Uses 3/4 cocoa dough)
And these... (1/4 cocoa dough and 1/4 matcha dough)
These too...! (1/4 cocoa dough)
Plus! (1/2 matcha dough)
(1/4 dough mixed with kabocha squash)
Here it is with 1/2 the cocoa dough... It's easiest to draw and write with a cocoa mix that uses water that's just warmer than chocolate melted in a double boiler.
You can choose to simply draw pictures etc., there are plenty of ways to enjoy decorating these buns. If you want to keep a nice golden color, cover the bread with aluminium foil after around 7-9 minutes into baking.
My latest design! Squirrels!
Story Behind this Recipe
It made me so sad when the ears fell off one time after the second proving, so I wanted to see if there was a better way of sticking them on.
Just pushing a toothpick in at a position where you can't really see it helps I think.
If the dough dries out, the other parts won't stick on properly, so keep any dough that you're not working on wrapped or covered with a damp cloth, and whatever you do, don't let it dry out. If you use too much flour for dusting it may also be hard to stick the parts on.