Masa consists of maize dough, which stems from the ground nixtamalized corn.
Many people use it for making delicious treats such as corn tortillas, pupusas, gorditas, and tamales.
Masa originated from Mexico, and many Latinos use it for an array of flavourful Latin American dishes.
Masa, in its powdered and dried form, goes by the name of Masa Harina.
There is the reconstitution of flour and water for creating the dough before its use in cooking.
Masa Nixtamalera, in its ground form, is cooked using milk and water to make a gruel-like and thick beverage known as atole.
And when you make it with sugar and chocolate, it is called “atole de chocolate.”
Here, when you add piloncillo and anise in this mix, you end up with champurrado, a famous breakfast drink.
You can even make tasty recipes like Homemade Tamale Dough with Masa Harina with this ingredient.
Some more exciting and tasty masa harina recipes that you can cook include Breakfast Pupusas Americanas, Cuban Shrimp Tamales, Meaty Tamale Casserole, Chocolate Tamales, Basic Corn Tortillas, and Salvadoran Chicken with Pupusitas.
Can you freeze masa? The answer to that question is a Yes. Of course, you can.
Just like pizza and pie doughs, many people choose to freeze their masa for later use.
When you freeze it, you can choose to store it for a few days or even months.
Does Freezing Affect Masa?
Yes, freezing your masa will affect its quality and taste after a fixed period.
If you plan to create your masa dough in advance, you can quickly freeze it without compromising its quality.
Your masa will remain fresh with all its flavors intact inside your freezer for 3-6 months.
But after that duration, you can expect its flavor and quality to fade.
Apart from the limited taste, the dough might be vulnerable to breakage and crumbling when you try to use it.
You will have a hard time managing and cooking your masa with other ingredients.
But if you plan to use the dough in a few weeks or a month, then you can expect the texture and taste to be perfect.
You also have to realize that the way you store and handle your masa plays a considerable role.
If you are careful with it, then you can even keep it for more than six months.
How To Freeze Masa?
You have two methods to freeze your masa.
Here, you can either prepare and shape your masa into tamale or tortillas dough or freeze the entire dough.
You can choose the technique based on your convenience and preference.
They are as follows:
Freezing Shaped Dough
- If you plan to use the masa dough to make tortillas, it is best to start pressing your dough before freezing it.
- Now you need to separate every shaped tortilla with a plastic wrap. Start stacking them carefully in a freezer-safe bag of an appropriate size. You can even use parchment paper to separate your tortilla-shaped masa.
- If you plan to make dumplings, tamales, or use the masa for a different reason, you will successfully prepare and freeze your items uncooked.
- Proceed in freezing every shaped dough separately now. Take out a baking sheet and spread them on it. After you freeze them thoroughly, start transferring them to an airtight, freezer-safe container.
Freezing Unshaped Dough
- If you aren’t sure how you plan to use your masa, you can freeze it directly without shaping it.
- After you knead the dough, take out a plastic wrap and start wrapping it. Ensure that your wraps are clean.
- Now you need to use an airtight container or a fully freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
Frozen Masa can last anywhere from 3-6 months inside your freezer.
It can last even longer if you freeze it the right way.
But the process of freezing your dough will affect some parts of its structure.
In this way, it will become harder to handle, giving you a tough time shaping the dough.
We would advise you to use the dough in less than three months for its maximum performance.
You will have the perfect flavor and dough consistency.
But when you keep your masa in the fridge, it will last for only three days.
And when you choose to keep it under room temperature, it can last for 2.
5 days or less, depending on the temperature.
So, we would always advise you to freeze it for long-term use.
How To Thaw Frozen Masa?
If you plan to make foods such as empanadas, you don’t have to defrost your masa.
You can directly cook your frozen masa straight from the freezer.
However, if you wish to thaw it using your fridge, then it is beautiful as well.
On the other hand, the process is quite simple if you wish to thaw your tortillas for cooking.
You have two options up your sleeve, i.e., to either thaw it under room temperature or keep it in your fridge overnight.
They will thaw out in an hour or less under room temperature.
However, if you plan to unfreeze a masa dough ball, you can follow the same pattern.
You can allow it to thaw overnight by keeping it inside the fridge.
The second way would be to let the warm room temperature do its trick.
We would recommend you replace the dough’s plastic wrapping by using a moist and cool towel.
Put your dough in a bowl and place the towel on top of it.
Allow it to rest on your kitchen counter for about three hours (hours may vary based on its size), and it will be good to go.
- If you froze multiple doughs inside the freezer by stacking them, you need to let them defrost naturally. Avoid peeling them apart forcefully.
- If you are in a hurry and you wish to microwave your masa, then take off the plastic wrap first before you put it in.
There are no limitations on the number of foods you can make from this dough.
Regardless of you choosing to freeze or use your masa directly, it promises nothing but an array of delicious meals.
Masa is versatile, easy to make, and possesses a sweet taste, reflecting pure corn.
Many people mainly use it for making tamales and corn tortillas.
You might know this, but this dough is also used for cooking hominy grits, a famous southern-style dish.
Plus, you can expect this dough to dominate a ton of sweet dessert treats.