Cornmeal is the backbone of every cornbread recipe. It makes your cornbread light-textured and yummy, which is all we love about cornbread!
But what if you ran out of cornmeal? Can polenta be used to make cornbread?
Much to our satisfaction, the answer is yes.
We’ve put together the ultimate guide to show you exactly how to substitute cornmeal for polenta and why this substitution might be appealing to you.
Polenta as a standalone grain is often ignored, even though it can produce some of the greatest dishes ever known. It’s very diverse and is the main ingredient in numerous recipes.
Adding polenta to your regular cornbread recipe will unquestionably pump up its taste. If cornbread alone is delicious for you, then you’ll find polenta cornbread to be off the hook.
The polenta will make your cornbread taste richer. Since it’s gluten-free, it will make the texture of your cornbread very light and spongy.
Not to mention, polenta is also extremely affordable. It’s easy to find at many markets and its prices are always a steal.
In addition to that, polenta is vastly healthy. It barely contains any calorie count, so it can be perfect for you if you’re on a diet or watching your figure.
Also, polenta will make you feel full for a long period since it takes time to get digested.
How to Incorporate Polenta in the Cornbread Recipe
Polenta is a type of cornmeal that is made of yellow corn instead of field corn, which is typically used to make cornmeal and is ground differently.
So, it can amplify the flavor of your cornbread and also make its texture more feathery.
To add polenta to your cornbread recipe, you will need to make sure that you use the same amount of polenta as you would cornmeal normally.
For example, if you’re going for the typical ten servings recipe where you only need one cup of cornmeal, you will need to add exactly one cup of polenta.
After a mini process of trial and error, we’ve put together a foolproof basic recipe for polenta cornbread.
Gather your ingredients and one of your favorite medium-sized baking pans. Let’s see how it’s done.
- 1 cup of polenta
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour or wheat flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ a cup of smooth, room temperature butter
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons of sugar (or more depending on the type of sweet tooth you have)
- A pinch of salt
The way to go about your polenta cornbread is pretty simple. They’re only four easy steps.
- Mix your wet ingredients all together in a bowl. That means you’ll combine your milk, eggs, and butter until smooth.
- Mix your dry ingredients in a separate deep bowl. Add your polenta, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to the bowl.
- Add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients gradually. By the time all your wet mix is added, your cornbread should be slightly dense, almost like a moist porridge.
- Pour everything into a baking pan.
- Place your pan in a 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes max. You’ll know it’s done when your cornbread turns brown and the sides start to get pulled apart from the pan.
See how easy that was? The results will probably be superb, too.
If you couldn’t already tell, we think polenta is a great substitute for cornmeal while making cornbread.
However, you need to consider some minor details before opting for polenta instead of cornmeal.
For example, make sure your toppings go well with the new, enhanced taste of the cornbread.
If it’s your first time making polenta cornbread, we recommend you stick to the classic toppings, like honey and butter
Next, keep future plans in mind regarding your cornbread recipe. In other words, if you’re planning to set aside some cornbread leftovers for a cornbread dressing dish later, polenta cornbread may not be ideal. It’s best served fresh.
Last but not least, know your audience. Many cornbread traditionalists wouldn’t like the twist to the original cornbread recipe. You’ll need to make sure your family or guests don’t mind the change.
We’ve put together the ultimate guide to answer the question: can polenta be used to make cornbread?
Polenta is super duper yummy. It’s extremely affordable and readily available in many shops. It’s also a much healthier substitute than cornmeal.
Replace the amount of cornmeal in your recipe with polenta. If you usually add a single cup of cornmeal to make your cornbread, you’ll need to add a single cup of polenta as well.
Now that you know that it’s possible, we recommend that you try it out yourself. We know you won’t be disappointed by the results!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.