This masa dough is a great starting point for homemade corn tortillas, tamales, and pupusas. We're taking a shortcut by using a food processor to grind the corn and so far the results are fantastic!
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4.67 from 24 votes

Homemade Masa Dough Using Yellow Field Corn

This masa dough is a great starting point for homemade corn tortillas and tamales. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time12 hrs
Servings: 16 (4 cups)
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Mexican Please


  • 2 cups dried field corn
  • 1 tablespoon calcium hydroxide
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water (to grind the masa)
  • 1/2 cup masa harina (optional)


  • Rinse 2 cups of dried field corn in cold water.  Remove any stones or struggling kernels.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of calcium hydroxide to 8 cups of water in a non-reactive pot (I used stainless steel).  Combine well.  Add the corn to this mixture. 
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  When the skins of the kernels slip off easily then it's had enough cooking time. 
  • Remove from heat, cover, and let sit overnight at room temperature.
  • The next day (or at least 6-8 hours later) drain the corn and massage it under running cold water.  Use your hands to remove the skins from the kernels.  Change the standing water a couple times until it starts to run clear.   
  • Drain the corn and add to a food processor.  You'll need 1 teaspoon of salt and approximately 1/2 cup of water for the whole batch (as photographed above I ground it in two batches in a smaller food processor).   Wipe down the sides of the food processor occasionally.  It will need approximately 4-5 minutes to thoroughly combine, you can add splashes of water if it's not combining well.  
  • Use immediately or cover with plastic/foil and store it in the fridge. 
  • If you want to make tortillas with the masa dough, adding some masa harina to it will make it easier to handle.  I added about 1/2 cup to this batch.


It's best to use a non-reactive pot when using calcium hydroxide.
You'll also see calcium hydroxide referred to as Cal Mexicana or Pickling Lime. 
How to use popcorn kernels to make corn tortillas. 


Calories: 76kcal