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Spring Water Masa

It all begins with masa.

1 pound, 12 ounces


30 minutes


The basis of near-endless applications throughout Mexican and Central American cuisine, masa might be the most versatile dough on earth, truly indefatigable. Make it yourself from whole hominy corn and discover how masa confers a delicacy of flavor unmatched by instant masa—no matter what shape or form is asked of it. We created a fine, supple dough by wet milling whole hominy through three different plates of a meat grinder before finishing the dough in the food processor. You will love this masa!

Cooking Remarks

The culinary lime used to cook the whole hominy makes the starches in corn extremely sticky. For easier cleaning, immediately soak the grinder plates and mechanism as well as the food processor bowl, blade, and lid in cold water.

The precise hydration of this dough depends on the particular harvest of corn and how long the hominy was cooked, but the finished masa should feel fine and almost creamy to the touch. Expect the masa to set up a little after it is processed, as well.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a KitchenAid mixer with the all-metal food grinder attachment (model KSMMGA), plus the coarse, medium, and fine grinder plates included with the attachment; three medium bowls; a food processor; a plastic dough scraper; a silicone spatula; and a clean kitchen towel.

    • 1
    • teaspoon fine sea salt
    • Spring or filtered water, as needed

    Set up your KitchenAid mixer with the all-metal food grinder attachment and the coarse grinding plate. Place a medium bowl underneath to catch the corn as it is extruded.


    Put the hominy into another medium bowl. Using your fingertips, sprinkle 1 ounce of water onto the kernels and toss; the hominy should be damp but not dripping wet. Pass the hominy through the grinder (fig. 2.1); it will emerge dryish and pelletized (fig. 2.2). Replace the coarse plate with the medium plate, sprinkle the processed hominy with 1.5 ounces water, toss to evenly moisten, and pass the hominy through the grinder (fig. 2.3). Replace the medium plate with the fine one, sprinkle the hominy with another 1.5 ounces water, toss well, and pass the hominy through the grinder a final time (fig. 2.4); at this point, the hominy will be almost paste-like. You should have about 1 pound, 9.5 ounces of ground corn (some will be lost in the grinder).


    In a food processor, combine one-third (8.5 ounces) of the ground hominy, one-third of the salt, and 1.75 ounces water. Pulse until very fine and the dough chases itself around the bowl, then process for 10 seconds longer. Turn off the processor. The resultant dough (masa) should be fine and very soft (fig. 3.1). If it feels at all stout, add additional water by the teaspoon and process briefly. Use a plastic dough scraper to scrape the masa out of the food processor into another medium bowl. Remove the processor blade and, using a silicone spatula, scrape the masa clinging to it and to the workbowl into the bowl containing the masa; cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Repeat the process in two more batches using the remaining ground hominy and the remaining salt and adding 1.75 ounces water to each batch.


    Lightly knead the masa in the bowl to combine the batches. Re-cover the bowl and let the masa rest and hydrate for about 15 minutes. If not using immediately, transfer the masa to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

    1. 2.1
    2. 2.2
    3. 2.3
    1. 3.1