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Corn Dough

Corn dough is prepared by kneading corn meal or nixtamalized finely ground maize into a dough with water, salt and oil. Maize or corn is a very popular grain that is prepared in different ways all over the world. The finely ground maize is called as corn meal and is used to make flat breads and corn bread. However, in Latin America, the maize is processed by treating it with enzymatic proteases or a strong alkaline solution. This softens the outer grain and produces a softer grain that can be ground to produce flour. This flour is completely different in texture to cornmeal and is given different names all over the world. It is referred to as masa, masa de harina, in Mexico where is it commonly used in a number of dishes. It can be kneaded with water, salt and oil to make smooth elastic dough.

How to Make Corn Dough?

Corn dough is prepared in several different methods all over the world. The most popular methods are as follows-

  • Corn meal is combined with water, oil and salt to form soft dough. As this dough is produced from unnixtamialized corn, there is very little gluten in it. This dough cannot be rolled out but it is patted to produce flat round pancakes for use.
  • Nixtamalized corn flour can be mixed with salt, water and oil to produce very soft elastic dough. This can be rolled, pressed with a flatbread press, or patted out to create flat pancakes or flatbreads.

Popular Corn Dough Recipes

Tortillas are made with corn dough by kneading nixtamalized corn flour with water, oil and salt and then rolled out to make flatbreads. These round pan fried flatbreads are referred to as tortillas. Tortillas are then filled with a variety of meat, chicken and vegetable and cheese fillings to form quesadillas. These can be sautéed, deep fried or baked till done.

Makki di roti is a flatbread prepared by mixing cornmeal with milk, water and oil. This flatbread is usually served with saag and pickle and is a popular dish in India and Pakistan

Tamales are an integral part of Latin American cuisine. Masa is combined with water to make soft, semi-stiff dough and then wrapped in corn leaves and steamed or boiled. These dough balls may also be stuffed with meat, chicken or cheese fillings before steaming.

Corn Dough Trivia

Corn flour and corn meal are two completely different products. Corn meal is finely ground maize flour. In the US, corn flour refers to corn meal that has been ground even finer to produce flour. However, in the UK and in several Asian countries, cornflour refers to the starch derived from maize which is used to thicken soups, gravies and sauces.