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Mar 11, 2011 03:43 PM

Polenta question

Hey everyone,
I need to know.. how much cooked polenta would 1/2 cup of dry polenta make??
Thanks in advance!

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  1. Not answerable in its current form :) Are you doing creamy polenta or baked? I do creamy in the oven and use six cups of water per cup of polenta. But it can go as low as three or four. The 6:1 ratio makes a lovely creamy one, fyi.

    1. The water to polenta ratio can vary from 3:1 to 5:1 - higher ratio for creamer and longer cooked polenta.

      1. Just to add more confusion ;-)
        This week, I made a batch of Bob's Red Mill polenta and used a 6:2 ratio. The directions say that it takes 30 min to cook, but I've cooked it before, and it's never taken that long. On top of that, I decided to cook it much like cous cous, so I didn't have to babysit it (and get hot glugs of polenta on me!) and enjoy my dinner salad.
        So...I added the polenta to the water while whisking vigorously. I continued whisking, and then stirred for a couple minutes. When I was sure it was incorporated and no clumps remained, I turned off the heat, put the lid on and let it sit for 10-12 minutes.
        It was perfectly creamy and soft. I served braised short ribs over it, btw.
        After dinner, the polenta had of course firmed up a bit. I turned it out into a non-stick sprayed baking dish, covered it and put it in the fridge.
        I've been taking polenta squared out for later dinners, just heating it in the micro and eating with sauce or whatever else I've cooked.
        Hope this helps.

        1. ok so lets say we do a creamy with 6:1... how much total end volume will that yield? like does it evaporate or will it by 7 cups in the end?

          3 Replies
          1. re: hungryabbey

            I haven't measured it, but I think evaporation is negligible. Most of the cooking is done at low heat. My guess is 7c plus or minus 1/2 c.

            1. re: paulj

              That's my thought also. Somewhere between six plus and seven plus. Does one need to get any closer than that?

              1. re: paulj

                Agreed. I'd err on the side of more.

            2. Being a polenta beginner myself, but on the other hand very well-versed in cooking grains such as grits and oatmeal, I always start out with the standard grain-to-water ratio of 1:4. So far I've cooked French medium-grain polenta and Red Mule grits, a whole-grain coarse-ground hard corn. So far, so good. There's actually a whole bunch of wiggle-room in all these recipes.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen

                I tend to start with 3 parts water. This is enough to form a smooth porridge. Then I stir in more water (or other liquid) as the corn absorbs more. Without gluten there's no harm in stirring it a lot, though ATK found that adding a pinch of baking soda reduced the need for frequent stirring.

                1. re: paulj

                  With a 1:6 ration, starting with a 1/2 cup polenta, you would get approx. 4 cups finished product.

                  1. re: hypomyces

                    Actually, the first time I cooked the French stuff the recipe on the bag called for 3:1, but I did 4:1 anyway, and it still seemed to want more water. I think, though, that I was simply unaware of how stiff this stuff wants to be. I think I will go to 3:1 for both coarse and medium and see how that works out.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      It depends on if you want hard or soft polenta. I like to pour mine into a big puddle on the serving plate, so I go 4:1 or sometimes 5. I add cheese and a pat of butter at the end so that tends to soften it up too.

                      1. re: escondido123

                        Thank you everyone, this has been very helpful!!