Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jimmy Can Crack Corn: Masa Flour Playdough

Given that we live in a condo in the middle of the city with no real storage to speak of, lots of people ask us where we keep all the stuff we use to craft.  And the answer depends on who you ask.  Mom would tell you of it's all organized (read -- organized in her mind, jammed into closets and cupboards in reality).  Dad would tell you it's all over the place.  And Kane and I would tell you it's in the pantry -- because it appears everything ends up in the pantry in the end.  Needless to say, we're all excited when we find an art or craft project that allows us to use up random odds and ends.  Particularly when we end up buying too much of a perishable item (like the coconut incident of 2011).

We've also been on a quest to find new playdough ideas, so when the giant bag of masa flour (corn flour) fell out of the pantry last week and nearly spilled everywhere, a little lightbulb went off: masa flour playdough!  We started with our favorite playdough recipe, but had to tweak it a bit to get the consistency just right.  It smells like tortillas and has a super cool texture.  Mom tried to get us to open up a play Mexican restaurant, but we wanted to use it for our usuals -- birthday cakes, pirates and army men.  Here's how to make ours -- you'll need:

- 4 cups water
- 5 cups masa flour (reserve 1 cup)
- 1 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 teaspoons cream of tartar

Combine water, 4 cups masa flour, salt, cooking oil and cream of tarter in large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly until most of the moisture is absorbed (we found this step went quickly with the masa flour).  Let it cool on some wax paper or the countertop.  We found ours pretty sticky at this point, so we folded in about 1 cup more of maize flour a little bit at a time.  Store in airtight container. 

We don't know enough about gluten to claim that this is "gluten-free," but we think it just might be.  If you know, clue us in!  Either way, it was super fun.

smells like chips! 

yes that would make a nice tortilla, mom.  now i'm going to cut it up.

singing my #1 hit "happy birthday to dora"

making a tower for the army men


rachelle | tinkerlab said...

Ack! So funny that we're both inventing masa play dough! So glad to know about you and your blog. (BTW, love your chalk board wall).

Kane and Cameron said...

I know! We'll have to try your recipe next!

Crys said...

Our family is gluten free and I use a lot of masa flour in our food. However, I do not think there is any masa flour brand that is certified gluten free so I am not sure of the likelyhood of cross contamination.

I have been looking for a gluten free play dough. I have found a few, but the prices on them are absolutely insane. Thank you for posting this. My daughter is going to love it!

Kane and Cameron said...

Good to know! Hope your daughter has a blast!

Krista said...

Thanks for this recipe! We're not 100% gluten-free but I have a lot of masa flour that is old (why, I don't know...). This was a great way to use it up.

I used: tumeric for yellow; beet juice for pink, and paprika for an orangey-red. Thank you!

Kane and Cameron said...

Love the idea of using spices for coloring - I bet it smelled awesome, too!

Anonymous said...

Does it keep? When we made it out of flour it lasted for several months in tupperware. Just curious if you know if it would have similar shelf life with masa? I want to use masa b/c it's what I have in the pantry and don't want to go out and buy flour...thanks!