Corn Flour (Masa) Dinner Rolls

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  15 rolls
Prep Time:  30 minutes Cook Time:  20 minutes

Corn Flour (Masa) Dinner Rolls

This recipe for eggy, lightly sweet rolls has a distinctly Latin American twist, with cornmeal, citrus, and coconut playing starring roles. It’s a great addition to any meal—pareve, meat or dairy.


2½ teaspoons (8 grams)  dry active yeast

¼ cup warm water (90 to 100°F)

1 cup coconut water (90 to 100°F)

1 cup (136 grams) bread flour

2 cups (236 grams) all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting

1½ cups (175 grams) masa harina (Mexican cornmeal flour)

2 teaspoons (7.5 grams) kosher salt

¾ cup (155 grams) light brown sugar, packed

5 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

¼ cup (54 grams) coconut oil, melted and at room temperature

1½ teaspoons anise seed, freshly ground

zest of 1 orange

zest of 1 lemon

1 egg white


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the yeast, water, and 2 teaspoons of the coconut sugar and stirto combine. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, until the yeast starts to foam (If necessary, it can stand for up to 10 minutes).
  2. Add the remaining coconut water and mix well. Add the bread flour and mix well. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes, until it puffs up just slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the all-purpose flour, masa harina, salt, sugar and whisk to combine.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, the egg yolk, coconut oil, anise seed and orange and lemon zest together until combined.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture in the stand mixer and mix at low speed until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Switch the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment. Knead for 5 to 6 minutes.(You can also knead the dough by hand until it soft like a baby’s tushy!) The dough should be soft, and quite sticky. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover lightly with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Leave in a warm spot in the kitchen (around 70° F), for 2 to 3 hours and let rise until it has grown to about twice its size.
  6. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
  7. When the dough has risen, dust a wide work surface with a small handful of masa flour. Gently pull the dough out of the bowl and place on the floured surface. Cut the dough into 2 equal portions and set one aside, covered by a kitchen towel. With a sharp small knife or a dough divider, remove a piece about the size of a small baseball (about 2 ounces/57 grams) for a small dinner roll Roll into a ball and place on the baking sheet and flatten with your hand. Continue with the remaining dough, leaving at 3½- to 4-inch space between the dough balls. You should end up with 15 balls.
  8. Cover the trays with a kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours, until it the rolls double in size.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make an egg wash: In a small bowl, combine the remaining egg white and 1 tablespoon water and mix well with a fork. Brush the rolls with a little of the egg wash. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until well browned. A 2-ounce roll bakes in about 19 minutes.  Remove from the oven. When the rolls are cool enough to handle, place on a cooling rack. Serve immediately or store in a resealable bag for up to 2 days.

Kitchen Tips

To make larger, burger-roll size units, divide the dough into pieces about 3 ounces (85 grams) each in weight and change the baking time to 24 minutes.

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