Monday, May 13, 2013

maseca cornbread

Last weekend when I made the black bean chili, I made a cornbread to go with it. Except instead of regular cornmeal, I used Maseca flour.

The only cornmeal I’ve been able to find here is instant polenta. Actually, I found a box of cornmeal once, in a hole-in-the-wall shop, but I didn’t buy it (silly me) and I’ve never seen it anywhere else since.


The instant polenta works fine as cornmeal. The resulting cornbread is a little heavier than normal (I prefer my home-ground yellow popcorn), but still yummy.

The cornbread made with maseca, however, was completely different. There was none of the coarse grittiness that comes with cornbread. It was soft and tender. It was like cake, but with a corn tortilla-y flavor. We loved it.


(I still love my cornmeal cornbread, but after reading this post, I do wonder if maseca cornbread might have some nutritive benefits.)


Of course, considering that the K’ekchi’ love anything and everything related to corn, I taught the girls how to make it. We made only six double recipes and sold it all, much to the disappointment of those who didn’t jump-jump into the buying and eating frenzy.


Maseca Cornbread
Adapted from my standard recipe.

Updated: The results of more experimentation (no white flour and nearly all maseca and then some whole wheat, maseca, a bit of cornmeal, etc) were all a success!

1 cup maseca flour
1 cup white flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients. Whisk in wet. Pour batter into a greased 9x9-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. Pass the butter and honey.

Ps. All photos, except for the one of the flours, are from the baking day at Bezaleel.

20 comments:

  1. Fascinating! I may have to try this! I don't like crumbly cornbread with 3 young boys underfoot... I have been frying my cornbread, but this might be a good alternative.

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  2. well, fascinating. maybe I should add masa as a pantry staple.

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  3. So how exactly does maseca differ from cornmeal?

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    1. Maseca is whole corn, that has gone through the "nixtamalization" process. Corn cooked and soaked in slaked lime. It is what makes corn tortillas smell and taste like corn tortillas. It is a chemical change that happens during the process. It frees up B3 or niacin in the corn. It is then dried and ground into a flour. It is literally the corn that built the maya, inca, aztec empires. The spanish brought corn back to the old world, but cortez did not realize that the one process that made corn nutritionally sound, that he did not include it. Which was catastrophic since it caused many people to die from pellagra a debilitating disease due to lack of the vitamin B3. Little joke on the conquerors i guess lol.

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  4. I've already taken to making my cornbread with cornmeal that has been soaked overnight, or at least during the day. Makes me feel like it's worth making; it isn't just barely moistened cornmeal that's going right through me. So making it with masa makes tons of sense. I bet it was good! Now I just wish I could find maseca at all around here.

    Suburban Correspondent: My understanding is that maseca is basically ground hominy -- corn kernels soaked in lye, skins rubbed off, dried, ground. Way more digestable than regular cornmeal which is just dry corn, ground.

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    1. So, with the skins rubbed off, is that like taking the bran off the wheat? Is it less of a whole grain that way?

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    2. Well, arguably, anytime you remove anything from a grain it becomes less than whole. ... But I don't know of any nutritive benefits of corn skin. Any store bought cornmeal also has the skins removed, just likely through sifting after grinding. So in this way, the two products aren't really different.

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  5. This makes me think that it would be good to combine corn meal in with this recipe, too...maybe half maseca, half corn meal. I think I will try that next time!!

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    1. Michelle, I like this idea. If it can be made with 100 percent maseca (next experiment!), than what about omitting all the white flour and using half maseca and the other half cornmeal? Hmm...

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    2. I used all MESA and had to add approx 1 additional cup of milk and another egg,also I added approx 1/2 cup of water,It should turn out ok as I have seen this made before by friends from south of the border,this mix may also be used for corn cakes

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  6. Oh, thank you for this recipe! I have a whole bag of that and I need something to do with it. (I need to practice making tortillas out of it as well but I haven't been too successful yet)

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  7. Just made this tonight as muffins and added 3/4 cup of frozen corn. So good!

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  8. I use half Maseca, half cornmeal as a kinda standard substitute for straight cornmeal. Maseca has a wonderfully nutty, characteristic Mexican flavor, to me there is no substitute. I used the above recipe to make a sort of tamale pie, with leftover pork mole. OMG, it was heavenly! Thank you for a real keeper of a recipe!

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  9. This was such a wonderful recipe, thank you very much. I followed Jessica May's idea of adding some frozen corn before baking and I only had whole wheat flour and almond milk on hand, otherwise followed it to the recipe and it turned out great. I topped it with my vegetarian taco mix and it created a sort of mexican-style smothered biscuit.

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  10. Worked great! Cooked fine on the BBQ too.

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  11. The "batter" was quite thick. Not sure if that was suppose to be the case. It is in the oven now so we shall see how it turns out.

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  12. I am baking mine as we speak, I have omitted the flour all together and substituted cornmeal added a can of creamed corn & some chopped green chilis (not super spicy)and only 1 cup milk. Batter was thicker than usual but I didn't thin it out any, cooking it in a cast iron pan in the oven, this should go great with my white chicken chili! Cheers!

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  13. Omg!! Just made it.. super quick and it turned out delicious! Thank you so much! Also.. I spread about 2 tsp of honey on top right out of oven . Yum! Prefer this over regular corn bread.. it took about 15-20 minutes to bake here on the coast in San Diego, CA. Thanks again!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And I like the idea of spreading honey on the top.

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