2 cups (228g) masa harina, white or yellow
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons (28g) butter or lard, softened
Vegetable oil, for cooking
For the filling:
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or Oaxaca cheese
1 cup refried beans, optional
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the masa harina, chicken bouillon (if using), and salt.
Add the hot water a little bit at a time while mixing the dough with a rubber spatula, making sure no clumps form. Do not add all the water at once as you may not need it all. It will slowly absorb the liquid, so let it rest for a few minutes and, if needed, add some more water. The dough should be the consistency of play dough and slightly sticky.
Mix in the butter. Since the dough will be warm, the butter should incorporate easily. Use your hands or a spatula to make sure it’s distributed evenly through the dough.
Divide the dough:
Once the dough is cool enough to handle, wet your hands with a mixture of oil and cold water to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.
Divide the dough in half and then divide each half into 6 pieces for a total of 12 pupusas. Roll them into balls about the size of a golf ball. Keep the dough balls covered with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out as you form the pupusas.
Shape the pupusas:
Grab a ball in one hand and flatten it into a 3-inch disk. Use your thumb to create an indentation in the center and place a tablespoon of beans (if using) and a heaping tablespoon of cheese in the center. Don’t overdo it or the pupusa will overflow.
Gently fold the edges in around the filling to create a ball again and then gently flatten it into a thin 3-inch disk. If your dough starts cracking it may be too dry. Wet your hands and smooth the edges.
Cook the pupusas:
Heat a griddle, large non-stick skillet, or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil, repeating as you cook each batch.
Place 2 to 3 pupusas on the hot griddle (depending on the size of your pan) and cook until the edges look golden and a spatula easily slides underneath, about 3 minutes per side. Serve warm.
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