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Tamal Dough (Masa para Tamales)

This tamal dough recipe for Mexican savory tamales starts with fresh masa (the nixtamalized corn dough used to make tamales and tortillas) from MASAMOR. Lard, baking powder, salt, and broth are added to make a fluffy, light, tender, and flavorful tamal that can be stuffed with your favorite filling, like Red Chile and Pork or Rajas Con Queso.


  • 1 kilo lard

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, divided

  • 2 tablespoons salt, divided

  • 2.5 kilosfresh ground masa, unprepared for tamales, divided

  • 2 to 3 cups broth from cooked pork roast or chicken broth, divided

  • ½ cup red chile sauce, (only add if making red chile pork tamales!)


  • Place 1/ kilo of lard in a large stand mixer and mix until fluffy, scraping sides so the lard stays in the center of the mixing bowl. (The flat beater is the ideal accessory for mixing.)

  • Add half the baking powder and half the salt to the lard and mix together.

  • Add half the masa and mix together. Slowly add half the broth and half the red chile sauce, if using, to the masa and mix until combined. The mixture should be about the consistency of smooth peanut butter. If not, add more broth as necessary. Test the masa by taking a small piece (1/2 teaspoon) and dropping it into a cup of warm water. If it floats it is ready; if it sinks, add a little more lard, beat for another minute and test it again. Repeat this process until the masa floats. Pour the masa mixture into a bigger bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.

  • Cover the masa and set aside while you prepare your filling of choice.

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