[Sca-cooks] masa

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sat Nov 10 14:40:25 PST 2007

Take a look at the words, if I grasp the pronunciation correctly, masa is a 
derivative of maiz and will be pronounced with a long "a," while massa will 
be pronounce with a short "a".

Massa, in this case, is a ball of dough (a sourdough starter) that is used 
to leaven a batch of dough and is recovered before baking.  In France, it is 
a levain and in Italy it is a bigga (although that may also refer to a 


> I thought masa was corn meal or corn flour (from maize) used in
> tamales and for thickening chili. Obviously in this case it can't be
> maize. It's not flour (wheat) since that is also mentioned. So what
> is it?  And the comment about "kept for leavening" confuses me also,
> unless this is something like ale barm.
> Stefan

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