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Dec 7, 2007 05:38 AM

Masa instead of cornmeal in cornbread

I ran out of cornmeal the other day and was requested to make cornbread to go with the black beans, so I subbed white masa. Wow. Highly worthwhile. We had skillet cornbread that tasted like freshly made corn tortillas -- slightly sweet, complex, and deeply "corny", and I didn't have to knead or roll anything (which is why the masa was in the cupboard -- I don't have time to roll or press tortillas). The batter took more liquid than regular cornmeal, but was otherwise put together the same way. I don't think I'll be using plain cornmeal for bread anymore.

My husband said the bread would make a great shortcake base, or you could split it, butter it, and melt some mild cheese on it for something like idiot arepas.

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  1. This is a wonderful idea! I bought a bag of masa once to try my hand at making tortillas, and the bag was so doggone big, I eventually had to give most of it away. I'll sure try to find a more manageable size, so that I can try this. Thanks for posting.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      Massa can be used for many things, I have used it for breading shrimp, fish, and even chicken. Marinate chicken overnight in buttermilk then dip in masa, beaten egg, and finally regular cornmeal for a crunchy coating that can't be beat. Save the buttermilk marinade and use it for sawmill gravy that is extraordinarily delicious. Masa cornbread that includes chunks of cheddar cheese and pickled jalapenos is an excellent compliment to any meal that calls for traditional cornbread.

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      1. Appreciate the tip - I've had Masa in the freezer for a year now!

        1. Add a masa slurry near the end of the cooking time for a pot of chili. Delicious.

          3 Replies
          1. re: pine time

            pine time, I had been tearing up a few corn tortillas and stirring them in my finished bowl of chili but I think I will switch to your method. Sounds like a good way to thicken the chili and add flavor both.

            1. re: pine time

              I used my masa harina to do just this last week and was terribly disappointed that all my heat and half the falvor was gone, albeit covered by wonderful masa flavor. I worked really hard at getting those flavors (5 different chili powders included) so today I plan to make masa harina corn muffins and use ground tapioca to thicken my chili. Cheers~

              1. re: BIteMe76

                How odd. Masa harina is the thickener of choice for a batch of Texas red. Maybe you used too much of it or perhaps there wasn't enough heat?

            2. I've had some success with a blend of white flour and Masa (about 50/50 ) for corn bread. It's pretty good.