Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Gluten Free Papusas

gluten free papusa
Chicken and Pepper Papusa
We've been experimenting with Papusas for a while now but I'm confident that we've got to the stage where they are definitely good enough to share. If you aren't familiar with Papusas they're a thick stuffed Tortilla from El Salvador, a great alternative to share and tear bread in naturally gluten free form.

These aren't hard to make at all but there is a knack to getting the stuffing inside. Other than that these are really quick to make and pretty filling, great for dunking into dips too.

You could use pretty much anything you fancy to stuff these with but whatever the ingredients they must be blended into a paste first. You don't want any lumpy bits.

Here's our current Papusas filling of choice:

1 Chicken Breast
1 Mini Sweet Pepper
3 Shallots
80g Manchego
Pinch of Sea Salt

  • Peel the shallots and chop roughly
  • Remove the stalk from the pepper, de-seed and chop roughly
  • Cut the chicken into rough chunks
  • Put the ingredients into a mixer, add salt and blitz until the ingredients form a paste
papusas filling
Filling Paste
  • Cut the rind from the manchego and grate into a bowl
grated manchego
Terrible Photographic Skills That Day. Well, Most Days
  • Add the chicken paste to the manchego and mix
Make the filling before you make the Masa so that the dough doesn't dry out.

Here's how to make the Masa, the ingredients listed (including the filling) will make 6 Papusas.


2 Cups Masa Harina
1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free Chicken Stock (1 Knorr Stock Pot used here)

  • Make the stock with hot but not boiling water (or leave to cool)
  • Put the masa harina into a big bowl and add the stock
  • Mix with your hands until you have a ball of masa
Tortilla Dough
The consistency shouldn't be sticky not should it be dry. You can always add more stock or Masa Harina to balance the dough if it isn't right first time but with these directions it definitely should be.

Making the Papusas:

Extra Ingredient:

A couple of tablespoons of Oil*
  • Heat a dry griddle pan (a frying pan would work too) on high
  • Take a piece of dough around a quarter larger than a golf ball (I can't think of anything the exact size to describe) and roll into a ball
  • Using both palms, flatten into a circle - the authentic and easiest way of doing this seems to be by twisting your palms as you flatten 
  • Keep the disc in one hand and with the other grab a small handful of filling
  • Place the filling in the center of the dough and bring the sides of the dough up until you can seal them by pinching
  • Now coat your plams in the oil and flatten the papusa to around 1 1/2cm thick twisting palms as you do
  • Place into the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes each side
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients
cooking papusas
Papusa In Pan
As you can clearly see there's filling showing. Ideally that wouldn't be the case but The Glutenite is still honing his stuffing technique. He with the big hands is in charge of putting the Papusas together as mine would have to be mini versions, my hands are diddy. It matters not though, the filling doesn't notice once the Papusas are cooked.

chicken papusas
Stuffed Flatbreads
*We use Coconut Oil as it doesn't add any extra flavour and I'm into the supposed health benefits but you can use whatever oil you wish.

gluten free papusa
Naturally Gluten Free Papusa
If you haven't tried Masa Harina yet I urge you to do so, it's a brilliant ingredient for the gluten free diet. The Corn Flour that you see labelled over here isn't actually Corn Flour at all, it's Corn Starch, a completely different thing and not able to be used in the same way. Once I discovered real Corn Flour a lot of disastrous experiments made sense.

Other great naturally gluten free things to make with Masa Harina include:

So yes, Papusas are lovely, a great alternative to gluten free bread. 

Choose your stuffing of choice and enjoy!

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