Is Masa Flour the Next Big Thing?

masa, masa flour, corn flour, gluten-free, hydration, mixing

I’m a big fan of masa flour. Not just because of all the delicious things it’s used in like tortillas, chips, taco shells, tamales…the list goes on. But because it also has increased bioavailability of niacin, improved protein quality, increased calcium levels, and reduced mycotoxin content.

Another plus, it’s naturally gluten-free! So if you’re looking for a gluten-free product, masa could be a smart choice!

The problem with masa flour

If you are using masa flour, there are a few things to be aware of.

  • Water retention is CRITICAL! If the dough isn’t properly hydrated, then it just falls apart. Gums can help with this.
  • Fine tune your fat percentage. Too much, and there will be off flavors or odors. Not enough, and your product won’t have the desired firmness and chewiness.

How is it made?

Masa is a dough made from ground corn that has been cooked in alkali. The wet masa dough is dried and ground, resulting in corn masa flour or masa harina. There are several stages for corn masa flour production using nixtamalization process, the traditional method used.First, dried maize is soaked in a solution of water with lime, often with ashes mixed in. The grain is then cooked, steeped, drained, and rinsed multiple times. After which, the  grain is then ground to make masa. Masa can be further dried into masa flour.

Want more insight into masa? Find it here!


About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.

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