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Basic Tamale Dough


  • 4 1/2 cups corn flour
  • 4 to 5 cups warm chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound lard or shortening
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salt


  1. Place corn flour in a large bowl and add 4 cups of warm broth. Beat with a wooden spoon or mix with your hands until dough is smooth. Use a little more broth of necessary, but the mixture should not be loose.
  2. Beat lard or shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  3. Begin adding corn flour mixture a handful at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Alternatively, beat in tamale mixture using your bare hand as a whipping and folding tool. If the mixture becomes too stiff to beat, add up to 1 cup tepid chicken or pork broth a little at a time. When done, the mixture should be light and delicate, the texture of butter cream frosting. Beat in salt.

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