These tender fluffy masa harina biscuits are everything! They’re kind of a cross between a classic biscuit and a corn muffin, and the perfect accompaniment to chilis, soups, and stews of all sorts.
masa harina biscuits are uniquely delicious
I originally formulated this recipe back in 2012 to go with my chicken chile verde, and I’ve been enjoying them ever since. The flavor and texture is out of this world, and unlike any other biscuit I make. What makes them so appealing? It’s all about the masa harina, and it starts with the fragrance that hits you when you open up the oven, it’s that unmistakeable tamale/tortilla aroma. The biscuits have a soft plush texture that melts in your mouth and a beautiful pale golden yellow color. If you love all things corn, these are a must try.
what is masa harina?
Masa harina is a very fine corn flour that’s used to make masa for tortillas or the filling for tamales. It has a wonderful fragrant corn flavor, and bakes up with a fabulous tender texture. Masa harina is made from dried corn that’s been soaked in calcium hydroxide, and then finely ground. It is not the same thing as corn meal. Look for it in the flour and grains section of your supermarket. You may also find it in the international section. (Bob’s Red Mill sells it as well.)
In addition to making amazing biscuits, I also use masa harina to thicken my chiles ~ it adds wonderful body to the chile, and lovely flavor, too. I just stir a couple of tablespoons at the end of cooking.
the 3 secrets to great biscuits
- Use cold butter and buttermilk.
- Don’t over work the dough. Pat it together, and then gently roll or pat out to the desired thickness.
- Make SURE your oven is at temperature before you bake.
masa harina biscuits faqs
Yes, you can freeze them after they’ve cooled completely. Put them in a freezer safe container or a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag. You can freeze the uncooked biscuits, too. Thaw frozen uncooked biscuits in the fridge overnight, before baking.
Yes, and while you won’t get the same flavor or texture, they will be delicious. You can use yellow or white cornmeal.
I like to cover them with foil and reheat in a 300F oven until warm to the touch, about 15 minutes or so.
The obvious answer is chili, and I mean every type of chili from a creamy white turkey chili, to a classic red chili, a Hatch pepper chili, or a zippy chile verde. But don’t stop at chilis, these biscuits are at home with all sorts of comfort foods like pot roast and soups.
more biscuit recipes
- 3 ingredient biscuits that will change your life
- Apple, Cheddar and Sage Biscuits
- Peanut Butter Biscuits from Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook
- Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits
- Down Home Sweet Potato Biscuits with Country Gravy
Masa Harina Biscuits
- 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter
- 1 1/4 cups cold cultured buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup masa harina
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 12 Tbsp cold salted butter, cut in pieces
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Mix the buttermilk and honey and set aside.
- Put the dry ingredients (flour, masa harina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the cold butter, in pieces, to the machine.
- Pulse in the cold butter, about 25 pulses, to combine and create a coarse crumbly mixture.
- Slowly add in the buttermilk, while pulsing, until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring the dough together, adding a little flour if it's too wet and to prevent sticking.
- Pat or roll to about 1 inch thick and cut into biscuits. I used a 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter. You'll get about 10+ biscuits. Note: it helps to flour the edges of the biscuit cutter between cuts to prevent sticking.
- Place them on parchment paper or a Silpat liner and bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. They don't get brown, so don't overcook waiting for them to take on color.
- Serve hot out of the oven (my preference!) with butter or honey.