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I want to cook a soft polenta. I would like the consistency to be like pudding - just firm enough to hold a shape (it doesn't flow out of the spoon if you take a heaped spoonful), but not firm enough to be cut into pieces. My ingredients will be cornmeal (not cornflour; it seems to be ~600 µm grain size), milk and olive oil. I am looking for the correct ratio by weight to achieve this consistency.

If you don't have a ratio for this case, but know a ratio for a similar polenta (e.g. cornmeal + stock) which gives this consistency, I'd be glad to know this one too, I think I can get the tweaking right by myself.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, it depends on brand, humidity, etc. My local variety is 1:4 to 1:4.5 (polenta:water) to get to that softness level

Add nothing else until you have the polenta at the desired consistency and softness

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I made it with 1:5 (polenta:milk) because of the ~10% dry matter in milk. The consistency was great. For the record, I also added 0.25 parts olive oil after the polenta was cooked. – rumtscho Aug 15 '11 at 9:25

For better authenticity (I know you are not asking for that, but still...) you might want to replace the olive oil with butter, or some other tasty animal fat. The polenta areas in Italy are mostly (*) not olive oil areas, and I can imagine that the olive oil, if it is a good one, would add a marked taste of its own. 1:4 sounds good, remember that polenta becomes stiffer as it cools down, so don't be dismayed if it just looks like yellow soup in the pot.

(*) exception: the Garda lake. Polenta and olives.

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Where I live (Lombardy) we don't generally add butter to polenta, which is just made with water and cornmeal. If the polenta is getting too hard, we add olive oil, not butter, to make it softer. – kiamlaluno Aug 13 '11 at 5:37

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