What is masa quebrada? The literal translation is broken dough. Masa quebrada describes a freshly ground corn dough that is coarse in texture. This was the traditional method my parents used to prepare masa for tamales. Of course, in much larger quantities. Dad had a commercial stand mixer in his garage and used it for the masa when needed.
Where Can I find Masa Quebrada?
Fresh ground masa for tamales is readily available at most Mexican markets and tortilla factories during the fall and winter seasons. For many years the masa quebrada was not available where I live. Now that it is, I am happy to be able to show you how I like to mix it.
What Is Masa Preparada?
Masa preparada translates to prepared masa. Prepared, meaning it has pork lard, baking powder and salt already mixed in. It implies that it’s ready to be used to prepare tamales. In my experience, I found that the masa preparada I purchased lacked in pork lard and salt. The tamales came out dense and a bit dry. That was just that particular brand. Not all of them are like this. Look for places that sell a lot of masa and look for any reviews or simply ask the other customers purchasing the masa.
Masa For Tamales Using Masa Quebrada
- Stand Mixer
- 5 lbs masa quebrada, fresh ground corn masa
- 1 lb natural rendered pork lard or white pork lard
- 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or pork broth
- In the stand mixer, add half of the masa, half of the lard, 3/4 c of broth, baking powder and salt to taste. Mix at med/high speed for 6-8 minutes or until smooth.
- Mix in remaining masa and pork lard at medium/low speed. Gradually mix in remaining broth. The bowl will be full, so start on low. Taste for salt along the way. Continue mixing for 10 minutes. If your prefer a thicker masa, you can mix in some masa harina corn flour 1 tbsp at a time.
- I did not add any red chile sauce to this masa recipe. If I were to add 1 cup of chile sauce, I would add less broth. So that all the flavors combine well and the masa really absorbs the salt, I like to cover and chill the masa overnight.