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Tamale Dough Recipe

You can make masa, a dough made from ground corn, in two ways: instant and fresh. If you don't have access to fresh masa from a tortilleria, this recipe from Maseca is a great substitute.  This recipe takes only 5 ingredients and is easy to make.

Tamale Dough Recipe

This recipe makes approximately 5 dozen tamales. 

How to Make Tamale Dough

  • Gather dry ingredients in a large bowl, Masa Harina, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. 

Add chicken broth or water, mix thoroughly in the stand mixer or by hand until you have a soft moist dough

Tamale Dough Recipe

Add the moisten Masa Harina/Maseca mixture to the whipped lard/or shortening mixture. Mix until a pea-size piece of masa floats in a cup of cold water

Pea-size masa floating in water..its ready to spread on the husk

The consistency of masa should be smooth like peanut butter and spread easily on tamale husk.  Spread about a 4-inch square on husk...I like tamale dough so I spread it extra wide.

Tamale Dough

This recipe with only 5 ingredients, creates your Basic Mexican masa for Tamales.

  • 6 cups Maseca Tamal or Masa Harina de Maiz
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups lard or shortening
  • 5-6 cups chicken broth or water
  • Optional: 1 tsp garlic powder & onion powder
  1. Mix Maseca Tamal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add enough chicken broth/or water and mix thoroughly with your hands to make a soft moist dough.
  2. In a standup mixer, mix the lard/shortening with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the masa and continue beating until the batter becomes smooth and slightly sticky. Drop a pea-size piece of tamale masa(dough) into cold water, if the dough floats...your dough is ready.
  4. Prepare your tamales with the filling of your choice. Yields: approx. 5 dozen tamales
  5. Tamale dough can be refrigerated for 3 days in a sealed container, or frozen for up to 5 months.

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