Masa Dough for Tamales | PCC Natural Markets

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Masa Dough for Tamales

Yield: enough for about 3 dozen small tamales

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Use this dough in the recipe for Fresh Corn Tamales.


  • 3 cups masa harina (masa flour) Add to list
  • 2 cups warm water Add to list
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or shortening Add to list
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken, pork or vegetable stock (if you are making a meat filling, use the liquid obtained when cooking the meat) Add to list
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder Add to list
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste (you may need less if your stock is very salty) Add to list

These ingredients are:
egg-free iconEgg-free gluten-free iconGluten-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free soy-free iconSoy-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free wheat-free iconWheat-free


Mix masa harina with warm water to form a stiff, moist dough. Add a little additional water if the dough is too crumbly.

Place butter or shortening in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. With the paddle attachment on high, whip for 1 minute, or until it's fluffy. Lower the speed to medium and add masa dough alternately with 1 cup stock, baking powder and salt. Beat until well mixed.

Return the mixer to high and whip for 1 to 2 minutes, or until masa resembles the consistency of Spackle. If necessary, add additional stock, 1/4 cup at a time, until the correct consistency is attained. The dough should be soft but workable, like a thick, fluffy cake batter.

Drop approximately 1/2 teaspoon masa into a cup of cold water. If the masa floats, it's ready; if it sinks, continue whipping for another minute. Repeat this "float test" until the sample masa floats.

Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Chef

Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on August 6, 2011.

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