In a mixing bowl, pour in milk, sugar, oil, yeast and flour.
#Tip: Shake yeast in to prevent it from clumping. You do not need to sieve the flour.
Gently stir the ingredients together.
Beat the mixture for about 5 minutes at low speed, adding a little more milk if the dough is too dry. Then beat the mixture for another 5 minutes at medium speed until the dough is soft, smooth and mildly tacky.
#Tip: Do not overmix the dough as it will cause the temperature to increase, resulting in bubbles which may affect the appearance of the bun.
Knead the dough into a long roll and divide it into eight equal portions of 60g each.
#Tip: Cover seven of the dough balls with cling wrap to prevent them from becoming dry, while rolling one of the dough ball in the next step.
Roll the dough ball
Knead the dough ball into a long roll, fold the two ends and continue rolling. Repeat another two times.
Roll in the edges of the dough while gently forming an oval shape.
Slice the dough to desired shape or design. Cover with cling wrap and set aside.
Make the details
Mix a bit of leftover dough, cocoa powder and milk until the colour is consistent throughout the dough.
Spread a little milk over the surface of the bun to adhere the details onto it.
#Tip: Use toothpick to help with small details.
Place the completed bun on a piece of steaming paper.
#Tip: You can use baking paper too if you can't find steaming paper.
Proof and steam
Place dough into the steamer and cover with lid.
Put about 3cm of water into the pot and heat the water to about 45°C. Let the dough proof for about an hour.
#Tip: If you do not have a thermometer, just heat the water till it is warm to touch.
#Tip: After an hour of proofing, the bun should have grown to about 150% of original size (ie 4 cm diameter to 6 cm diameter). Lightly press the dough and it should slowly bounce back.
Turn on medium fire and steam the buns for about 15-20 minutes.
#Tip: Leave a small gap in the lid to allow steam to escape.
After steaming, leave the buns to cool in the steamer for about 3-5 minutes before carefully removing them.
#Tip: Do not keep the buns in the steamer as they will absorb the moisture from the steamer and become soggy.