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Old 03-05-2020, 01:26 PM   #1
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Question Which Masa do I use?

Hello all. I'd like to try and make my own homemade tamales. I have all I need to begin. except the masa, and that's what has me confused. I see bags with "Masa Harina Flour" on them then see some that specifically say for tamales. Is there a difference, or are they both one and the same?

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Old 03-05-2020, 01:59 PM   #2
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Hi OldernDirt, me again lol

I don't know if this will help, but I have a recipe for Tamale Masa Dough. The first ingredient says - 6 3/4 cups Masa (corn tortilla mix)* - *also known as Masa Harina. Sorry, that is all it says about the masa.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:19 PM   #3
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Question

Thank you.
We have a pretty big grocery store chain here that carries lots of Spanish/Mexican foods and they have both types of the masa on the shelf. I've asked if they're the same or some difference and no knows! Guess I'll just have to go with the one that says for tamale, on a day the wife is out and about, and if it doesn't work get rid of the mess before the she gets home!
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:30 PM   #4
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Masa Harina is what you want, It differs from other corn flours/meals in that it is made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater). So just look on the package ingredients for both corn and lime.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:52 PM   #5
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Masa harina translates as "dough flour," so I'm pretty sure they're the same thing. Scott is right that it's ground nixtamalized corn. A common brand is Maseca - that's what I use. Works great.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:55 PM   #6
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I have spent the past four years in "foodie purgatory." I do have access to Masa Tamale at the local Walmart. I love making tamales. Once you master the technique of "folding and wrapping" you will wonder why you hadn't tried this before. My first batch was not great, but now that I have been a roll making tamales, I keep asking "why did I wait so long to master this???" They freeze great, work for a quick breakfast, lunch, snack or meal.
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:52 PM   #7
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Masa Harina is used both for corn tortillas, and tamales. The dough is more of a thick paste for tamales and is more dry for tortillas

I have used both the Maseca brand, and the Quaker brands, and a actually found that the Quaker brand has a better flavor stronger and more aromatic. But that is MHO.

It will take you a few tries with a press before getting your tortillas to form. But be patient and follow the directions for the tortilla dough. And there are a number of youtube videos that can help as well.

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Old 03-06-2020, 12:50 AM   #8
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The masa harina that is labeled for tamales is a slightly coarser grind, but not absolutely necessary. I only got it once, and it was noticeable in the tamales, but nobody that sampled them could say that they preferred one over the other.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:20 AM   #9
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zi know that traditional tamales are made in corn husks. But first, yoou have to find them. Then, they need to be soaked to make them pliable.Then You need to learn the art of spreading the dough, then filling, then roling them correctly (which isn't all that hard). It can be a challenge to fet all the pieces together.

My Dad used to purchase the store-bought tamales that came in a jar, r in a can. Both had tamales rolled in parchment paper. I gave that a try one time, as I wanted home-made tamales and didn't have any dried corn husks on hand. I simply cut the parchment paper to size, then made my tamales in the paper. I steamed them as per regular cooking methods, and then placed the cook tamales into my sauce. They came out really good. I found the parchment paper easier to work with than the corn husks.

Oh, and do a bit of research. Every nation in South America has their own version of tamale fillings. And remember, the tamale is all about that coating that the filling is rolled in. The filling is there to add interesting flavors. I've even had desert tamales made by a Spanish women that I, and my partner used to visit to help out. I believe the filling was brown sugar, cinnamon, and maybe white chocolate. We'd clean her bird cage, and she insisted on feeding us flan, or tamales, or churns. She was an excellent cook who hailed from Spain, originally. She was a widow, and we visited her, and several other families through our church program, to assist, and help out in any way we could. San Diego was a place where you could get the best Hispanic foods.

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Old 03-06-2020, 07:26 AM   #10
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What ever masa harina you use, lard is a must. Tamales are not specific to Mexico and banana leaves are often used for wrappers.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:49 AM   #11
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I also use the Mesaca and I also put pureed corn in the dough to give it a fresher taste.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:51 AM   #12
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There is a lady locally that makes the dough from scratch. Last time I bought some from her it was $2.00 for 5 lbs. I made her take more.
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I also use the Mesaca and I also put pureed corn in the dough to give it a fresher taste.
I forgot to mention that - I like putting puréed corn kernels in the dough, too.
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
Masa Harina is what you want, It differs from other corn flours/meals in that it is made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater). So just look on the package ingredients for both corn and lime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Masa harina translates as "dough flour," so I'm pretty sure they're the same thing. Scott is right that it's ground nixtamalized corn. A common brand is Maseca - that's what I use. Works great.
Is this what I am looking for?


Maseca Instant Corn Masa Flour

Ingredients

Corn Treated with Hydrated Lime, Folic Acid.

Would I also use this for making Arepas?
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
Is this what I am looking for?


Maseca Instant Corn Masa Flour

Ingredients

Corn Treated with Hydrated Lime, Folic Acid.

Would I also use this for making Arepas?
Yes, this is what you want for tamales and corn tortillas. A different flour is used for arepas: https://www.cooksinfo.com/arepa-flour
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:29 AM   #16
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Yes, this is what you want for tamales and corn tortillas. A different flour is used for arepas: https://www.cooksinfo.com/arepa-flour
Thanks. I found this on Amazon.

This is the right one? It says it in the name BUT … just want to be sure.

P.A.N. Yellow Corn Meal – Pre-cooked Gluten Free and Kosher Flour for Arepas, 1 kg (35 oz / 2 lb 3.3 oz)

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