Make the bao dough
Starting with pizza dough, dissolve the sugar in water and wet the dough. Knead to incorporate.
Dry the dough, which will become wet and sticky, with the corn starch.
Divide dough into 6 to 8 balls and cover so they don’t dry out. Let dough rest while you prepare the filling.
Make the filling
To make the filling, sweat the shallots in the oil.
Add the mushrooms and sausage and continue cooking.
Add tomato paste and cook just until the mixture and the fat start looking orange in colour.
Deglaze with the sweet wine and reduce to obtain a filling with no liquid that holds together when spooned.
Stuff the dough balls
Stuff the dough balls: press flat to form a disk, top with a spoon of filling and fold to seal.
Place in a steamer or marguerite (on lightly oiled parchment paper).
Steam about 5 minutes. They will puff up significantly.
There are thousands of bao dough recipes on the Internet, but go with the pizza dough you’ve already mastered… add a little sugar and corn starch and it’ll suit your purposes marvellously!
Tip: You can replace 5-spice powder with a pinch of each of the following: Star anise powder, pepper, clove, cinnamon, fennel seed.