Polenta corn bread

For some reason that I forget, I needed a bit of polenta for a recipe recently, and I could only find a kilo bag of fine polenta (which seems to be another name for corn meal). So now I need ingenious ways of using it up, and here's a good one. I noticed that British recipes for corn bread always involve as much wheat flour as corn meal, which seems odd, and kind of pointless if I want to use up the polenta, so this is based on an American recipe. I served it hot from the oven for brunch, with fried eggs and streaky bacon.


  • 2 cups (264g) of fine polenta or cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 red chilli
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of plain yoghurt


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C and take the egg out of the fridge.
  2. Put the butter in a little dish and put in the microwave for 30 to 50 seconds until melted. Leave it to cool while you do the rest.
  3. Grease a 23cm pie dish (I used the butter paper for this).
  4. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: polenta, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and paprika.
  5. Cut the chilli pepper in half lengthways and de-seed it. Chop it finely widthways into little red curlicues.
  6. Grate the cheese finely.
  7. In another bowl, mix together the yoghurt, cheese, chilli and melted butter.
  8. Lightly beat the egg and then mix it into the yoghurt mixture.
  9. Make a well in your polenta mixture, and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until it's all just combined.
  10. Pour the mixture into the pie dish, and bake for half an hour, at which time it will be risen, browning slightly, and coming away at the edges of the dish. I served this almost straight away, when the texture is very light and crumbly - but I have high hopes of eating it cold the next day too.