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Customer Discussions > Baking forum

Can you use corn tortilla flour for making corn bread or muffins?

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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 21, 2010 6:12:53 PM PST
I see this corn tortilla flour at the market all the time and was wondering if it can be used for making corn bread or corn muffins as it has some lime in it.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 6:34:54 PM PST
LSNelson says:
It can be, but isn't it much finer than the traditional corn meal? At least the corn meal I get seems grainier.

Posted on Jan 23, 2010 11:42:00 AM PST
Firefly says:
I used masa once in a cornbread recipe that called for it. Horrible! It just is not the same consistency or flavor as what we are used to eating. If you are looking for something different from the usual degerminated stuff, try whole grain cornmeal.It's available in supermarkets, or you can get it much cheaper at natural foods stores in the bulk flour section. Makes fabulous cornbread!

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 5:04:22 PM PST
Grandma says:
No. Corn flour for tortillas (masa harina) is much finer than even the finest flour used for cornbread. If you want traditional Southern cornbread, then I strongly recommend Indian Head White Cornmeal. (This is stone ground.) If you want just general cornmeal then regular grind white or yellow cornmeal is fine. I do not recommend medium or coarse grind cornmeal for cornbread - this is very granular and makes an unattractive product.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 6:59:41 PM PST
Hi - what do you mean by "unattractive product"?? Usually I mix a 50/50 mix of like Quakers corn meal and unbleached baking flour like Pillsbury brand normal flour. So I was thinking to use like 25% masa mix, 25% corn meal and 50% baking flour but I just don't know what the effect of the lime in the masa mix would do to the recipe? Any thoughts? also looking for a recipe of old style deli type round but flat top style corn muffins like I used to buy when I lived in New York City.
Please advise. thanks Manny D.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 4:56:14 AM PST
Grandma says:
By unattractive I mean gritty, coarse and dry. Quaker's cornmeal is regular grind. It makes a decent cornbread in a pinch. Medium and coarse grind cornmeals are usually found under organic or specialty labels. I keep a bag of Bob's Red Mill coarse grind around for sprinkling baking sheets to keep bread from sticking.

I am probably not the best person to ask about tinkering with a cornbread recipe, starting with the fact that I am an old-fashioned traditional Southern girl in some ways and one of those ways is cornbread. I am a huge proponent of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" life philosophy - and there is nothing even close to broken about traditional Southern cornbread. Just cornmeal - white, stoneground - no flour. Flour is a Northern addition that was unheard of in most of the South until fairly recently. Cornbread with flour used to be called Johnny Cake :)

At any rate - real cornbread:

2 cups stoneground white cornmeal (substitute Quaker if you must)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil or bacon fat (I use olive oil these days)
1 teaspoon salt
If you are going to use buttermilk or sour milk as your liquid, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda (stuff in the orange box)
If you are going to use regular milk, add 3 teaspoons baking powder (stuff in the round can)
about 1 cup milk, buttermillk or sour milk

Put a 8-10 inch cast iron skillet that you have greased well into your oven at 450 to preheat the pan. When the pan is hot quickly stir all of your ingredients together just until blended and pour them into the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes at 425 until the cornbread pulls away from the side of the pan and the top is golden.

You can also bake this as corn dodgers (also known as cornsticks) - Lodge Logic Cornstick Pan for an especially light and crispy treat. Recipe makes about 2 dozen so three 9 stick pans.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010 6:11:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010 6:12:36 PM PST
I agree with your if it ain't broke theory. I also use stoneground cornmeal most times, using Quaker in a pinch when I run out of the stoneground variety. Thanks for your recipe.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 9:12:53 AM PST
C. Spych says:
No. For one, it is the wrong texture. Second, masa harina is not just ground corn meal, it also contains lime, which I don't think you would want in your bread. I love using stone ground corn meal for cornbread. It gives a nice flavor and texture.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2010 8:17:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2010 8:18:06 AM PST
Grandma says:
Masa Harina does not actually contain lime. It is very fine flour made from the same lime water -treated corn kernels that grits are made from. Soaking the dried kernels in lime water allows for the removal of the tough skins from the kernel and makes all of the nutrients readily available during digestion. This treatment is the primary reason that southerners, who traditionally eat huge amounts of grits, American Indians and folks in the Southewest and Latin America who depend on masa as a staple have not suffered from the pellagra so common to poverty sticken Italians, who earlier in the century existed primarily on polenta. Polenta is nothing at all other than traditional corn meal mush, made from regular corn meal. Because it is not treated before grinding, many of the nutrients are not available.

Oh - about that lime. You will find lime (calcium carbonate, calcium oxide) used in pickles of various sorts and in some baking powders - along with antacid tablets and various medicines. There is nothing about it that you "wouldn't want in your food."

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2010 9:30:52 AM PST
LL™ says:
I lived in Mexico for a few years, and it was difficult to get cornmeal, then again it was a time in Mexico when it was difficult to get many things, so I thought why not I´ll try the tortilla flour its ground corn, right? Wrong.
Terrible, taste and texture. Any cornmeal is ok. Quakers is fine, and easy to find.

Posted on Feb 14, 2010 9:28:27 AM PST
D. Figueroa says:
The lime you're talking about isn't actually from the fruit. It's SLAKED lime, which is totally different. It's also used in construction in making plaster, so it's definitely not the stuff that comes from a citrus fruit.

Whenever I needed to get the skins off my hominy for making pozole, I'd find a nearby building site and go ask for a cup or two of their 'cal', which is what slaked lime is called in Mexico.

I personally prefer Lamb's stone ground cornmeal, but any good cornmeal will do, but definitely do not use masa harina for corn bread, as others have said, the taste and texture will be all wrong.

I don't even like masa harina for making tortillas, etc, though that is a personal preference and I am lucky enough to have access to fresh masa.
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Discussion in:  Baking forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Jan 21, 2010
Latest post:  Feb 14, 2010

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