Someday, I hope to visit my favorite imaginary state: Masa-Chew-Sets. 😀
Nowadays, most stores will carry all the ingredients you need to make yummy tamales. You have to understand that when I was a kid, we would drive nearly an hour to buy Mexican food products. Making the masa for tamales is easy. Just a couple of ingredients. Whip this. Mix that… (snaps fingers) … and done!
Let me show you how easy it is to make the masa for tamales. First you start by whipping the shortening. Traditionally, we use lard. Some of you will say… yuck! I’m over here saying… YUM! I love the stuff. If you’re a lard lover like me, go for it, but we’ll keep it kosher and make this recipe with shortening instead.
After you whipped it … Whip it real good! … set it aside. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
Add chicken broth. You can use water, but I find chicken broth adds flavor.
Then add it to the whipped shortening. You want it be light, creamy, and fluffy. Think cookie dough.
How to tell if the masa for tamales is ready:
The water test! (Note: This is not waterboarding. Masa never talks). 😀 Take a dollop of masa and drop it in a cup of water. If it floats, it’s ready!! If it doesn’t float, beat it some more. There’s no such thing as over-mixing here. Mix until it floats. It might just need more shortening.
After that, you’re ready to spread, fill, and wrap tamales. Enjoy!
Watch How to Make Masa for Tamales Video
- 3½ cups masa harina for tamales (20 ounces)
- 3 cups very hot water
- ½ pound shortening, or lard
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup chicken stock
- In a large bowl, combine the masa, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the hot water.
- Knead until you form a smooth dough.
- Beat the lard with your mixer until smooth. About 2 minutes.
- Add the masa in small batches, beating until smooth and scraping down each time.
- Pour stock and beat until the dough is soft. About 2 minutes.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Beat one last time with your mixer for 1 minute before using.