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Is Masa Gluten Free? Find Out Here!

  • Amy 

Is Masa Gluten Free? Find Out Here!

If you are a Celiac then you know it is a little difficult to find products that do not contain gluten. There are more and more products that are becoming gluten free, however, it is still very rare.

Many food producers and manufacturers still rely on using gluten as a filler in their products. This means that even products which claim to be gluten free, often still contain gluten.

If you suffer from Celiac disease, gluten is a word that is synonymous with your life. You may not know for certain that you are gluten intolerant, you may even have family members who eat gluten and have displayed no symptoms.

Most of us worry about the health of our gut. Whilst, this may not be the case for everyone, it is worth finding out if you are gluten intolerant.

In this article, We will find out if masa is gluten free, so keep on reading!

What is Masa?

Masa is a type of corn flour that is made from the dried kernels of corn, which is ground into a fine powder.

Masa is a combination of cornmeal and water that is ground into flour and used as the base for some friendly recipes such as corn tamales and tortillas.

The word masa is used to refer to both the ground corn powder, as well as to its original form, the corn kernels.

I also used it as a meal accompaniment and as a thickening agent for sauces like guacamole and refried beans.

A “masa” is a specific type of coating that is added to a variety of foods to enhance the flavor, and they are often high in fat, salt, and sugar

Does Masa have gluten in it?

Masa contains gluten so it is always best to check your labels and popular ingredient before consuming.

Masa contains gluten and it is classed as flour and not a grain. This consideration makes it naturally gluten free although it contains other versatile ingredients like salt and maize.

I still advise it to check the gluten free ingredient to make sure that you are not consuming something with certified gluten-free corn masa.

There are probably some masa companies that do not contain gluten but it is still good to be careful.

If you are not familiar, masa is the name of a type of blue corn masa dough made from corn masa flour, cooked to a consistency that resembles thick cornmeal.

Outside of food, I sometimes use masa harina corn flour as a generic term for cornstarch, but for this blog post, we will keep it simple and just talk about the stuff that is used to make corn tortillas.

Homemade corn tortillas recipe

Nothing beats a crunchy fresh tortilla. There are a few different ways to make tortillas at home or in restaurants but making your own tortilla from scratch is a little more difficult.

Tortillas are a staple of every Mexican dish, whether you eat them with soup, tacos, or fries. 

Therefore, you need to make the tortillas from scratch.

Ingredients:

  • 500g Flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • 4 eggs
  • Chili powder
  • Cilantro

Method:

Step 1: Start by rolling out the tortillas. You can use a rolling pin, or if you have good arm strength you can use your hands. Place the tortillas on a griddle to warm up a little and thin them out.

Step 2: Next, add all the other ingredients to the grinder and grind until you have a paste. You don’t want your tortillas to be too spicy.

Step 3: Spread the paste onto the warm tortillas. Add ingredients as you like. Sprinkle with cheese if you like.

Step 4: Cover the griddle with a lid and turn the heat to low. Let cook for approx 2 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes.

Step 5: Remove from the griddle and place on a plate. Cut out wedges and serve.

How easy was that?

Next time you go out for dinner, choose the fish and make your own tortillas. Not only will they taste better, but you will also save some money!

Can I make gluten-free corn tortillas?

Gluten-free tortillas are much trickier to make than traditional tortillas. I wasn’t sure if it was even possible to make gluten-free tortillas.

However, I have been experimenting a little, and I’d like to share the results of my gluten-free tortilla-making adventure.

Make the dough

The secret to making gluten-free tortillas is to start with flour with as little gluten in it as possible. The less gluten the flour contains, the less chance there is of the dough falling apart during rolling.

So, to begin with, you are going to need a gluten free flour blend. These flour blends comprise two or more flours and are a mix to get a high percentage of gluten free flour.

I used Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend but found it didn’t work too well. I found that 1/3 gluten-free flour to 2/3 regular all-purpose flour worked a lot better.

The flour blend works because it is gluten free and mixes well into regular all-purpose flour.

It takes a bit of practice to get the ratio of flour in the right amounts. Consistency is key. The longer you knead the dough, the easier it will be to roll out the tortillas.

This takes practice. The best way to roll the tortillas out, once they are ready, is to cut them into the desired size. Keep the tortillas covered to prevent drying out.

Roll out tortillas

I think the best way to roll out a tortilla is to place some flour on a board and then place the dough on top.

You can then roll out the dough and divide it into 6-8 equal pieces.

Putting the tortillas on the tortilla press

The next step is to roll out the tortillas and then, using a tortilla press, which is very inexpensive to purchase, put the tortillas right on the discs.

This worked really well for me. I usually use the tortilla press for making homemade tortillas.

Letting the tortillas rest

Once you have rolled out the tortillas, you need to let them rest on a flat, clean surface for 10 minutes. This allows the tortillas to relax a little, making it easier to mold them into the right size.

You can place the tortillas on a board and fold one over the other.

Using the tortilla press,

The next step is to put the correct amount of brands of cornflour or polenta or whichever ingredient you are using for the filling, on the tortilla press and put the tortilla on it.

The press is a little like a rolling pin. Press the tortilla into the cornflour until there is a thin layer and then remove the tortilla.

The tortillas need to be weighed down to stop any movement, so place them between sheets of kitchen roll which will stop them moving. You can then remove the cornflour with tongs.

Repeat this process until all of the tortillas are filled.

Let the tortillas rest for 10 minutes

You can place these on a board in the same way and then cut them into the size you wish. You can keep them covered or leave them uncovered.

Using corn flour

You will probably notice that my tortillas have a sort of raw taste to them. This is because I used white rice flour instead mixing of cornflour.

White rice flour is not gluten free. Adding cornflour to the tortillas will make them crisper. However, if they are offered as souvenirs are the odd one, most people will not notice.

Voila, your gluten-free tortillas

Making gluten-free tortillas is surprisingly easy. Once you are comfortable with it, you will never want to eat non-gluten-free tortillas again.

Cooking gluten free is very rewarding and you will soon realize how great the gluten-free alternatives are.

The Bottom Line

Corn tortillas are not gluten-free. They contain gluten because wheat, rye, and barley are used during the grinding process to create other flours.

For people who are trying to avoid gluten, we can exclude corn tortillas. However, for people who are gluten intolerant, it may be best to avoid them.

There are plenty of options, such as buckwheat tortillas which have a similar texture to corn and gluten-free tortillas. We can find these in most shops that sell corn products.

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Amy Toliver

Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own! On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!