I had recently made pupusas, thanks to watching one of my favorite Bon Appetit food editors make them on their YouTube channel, but now I had a bunch of masa harina (corn flour) that I wanted to use up. Sure I could make tortillas, and thanks to my new cast iron tortilla press, it would be pretty easy. But I woke up craving waffles. Could I swap the all-purpose flour in my basic waffle recipe for masa harina? Probably not, but blending flours I had to get a decent texture, maybe reminiscent of cornbread waffles, would be achievable, no?
So I did a little poking around the internet to see how other folks made masa harina waffles. I saw a lot of flour mixes being something like masa harina + oat flour, or masa harina + coconut flour, or masa harina + oat flour + fairy sprinkles. Ain’t nobody got time for that on Saturday morning when you don’t wanna put your damn clothes on to leave the house. My other flour options that I already had in the house were a variety of starches (tapioca, potato, arrowroot, and corn), cassava flour, and almond flour. I already have a recipe for cassava flour waffles and the almond flour was already close to being used up, so I opted for almond flour + masa harina.
What I ended up with was so freaking good. Not overly sweet (I didn’t add sugar), nice crumb, and full of corn flavor. It sort of reminded me of a sope or a crisp tamal. Moist and crisp at the same time. I would gladly swap these out for cornbread as a side. They would also work topped as a savory dish, like a sope or use it for chicken and waffles. Or just eat them on their own like I did.
A few notes about the recipe. The way I make waffles in my 8-inch regular waffle iron, this made 4ish waffles. I tend to underfill my waffle iron. I hate overfilling it and having the batter out of the sides, so I’ve just come to terms with underfilling it and getting weird squarish waffles out of a round iron. If you’re better at filling your waffle iron to get perfectly round ones, you’ll probably get more like 2-3 waffles out of this recipe. If you have a Belgian waffle iron, I have no idea how many you’ll actually end up with or if you’ll end up with the same texture. I’m a regular waffle kind of girl. Let me know in the comments if it worked for you. Also, the batter is definitely not pourable once the flour has hydrated, so keep those dry measuring cups around for portioning.
Masa Harina Waffles
makes about 4 regular waffles – see note above
3/4 cup instant masa harina (white or yellow corn – I had yellow)
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk (I used whole milk, but alternative milks work)
2 Tbsp ghee or melted butter
In a mixing bowl, combine the masa harina, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the slightly beaten egg, milk, and ghee. Combine dry and wet ingredients, taking care to not overmix. When ingredients come together in a dough, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to hydrate the flours.
While the dough is resting, preheat your waffle iron. Grease it too, if necessary. Cook dough/batter in the waffle iron until waffles are a deep golden brown, or to your preferred doneness. Serve immediately, topped as you desire.
If you size up the recipe to make some future waffles, allow the extra to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for a few days. You can also freeze them for longer term storage. To reheat, simply pop them in a toaster or the oven until warm.
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