This cheese and Jalapeño Polenta Bread is delicious, cheesy, spicy. A great side dish for the weekend barbeque that comes together in less than an hour.
I love mealie bread and was having a bit of a craving this weekend. But all I had in my pantry was a jar of pickled Jalapeños, and just enough polenta to make my favourite polenta bread.
Are cornbread and polenta bread the same?
These are both quick bread recipes, however, the methods and ingredients used in the Southern US are a bit different to what I am using here. Although I'm sure somewhere along the line ideas and methods were swopped.
Cornbread is usually made with southern grits, made from white corn, while polenta is made from yellow corn. The colour difference arising from the amount of beta carotene within the varieties. However, other than that, there isn't much difference in the corn or maize varieties.
Cornbread is common in the US, and this recipe is a riff on the US version, however, instead of butter I opted for olive oil since I was using polenta. But I wanted spice - and love my pickled Jalapeños, and love cheese.
Ingredients for Cheese and Jalapeño Polenta Bread (Cornbread)
Flour - plain all purpose, standard grade flour is needed for this recipe, and only a single cup or 150 grams.
Coarse polenta or cornmeal (not cornflour or corn starch!) gives this bread a nice maize flavour.
Olive oil, milk and eggs add moisture to this bread, while the eggs also bind everything together.
Cheese (I would suggest a cheddar or even a mature cheddar for added flavour), Jalapeño, pickle juice and garlic powder add to the flavour of the polenta.
Baking soda and baking powder are the leavening agents that make this bread light and fluffy.
Making Polenta Bread
This is a really simple recipe that starts with preheating your oven and preparing your baking vessel. All the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, polenta, salt, garlic powder, baking soda, and baking powder) are whisked together to evenly distribute the ingredients and to break down any clumps that may have formed in the flour.
The wet ingredients are then added to the fry ingredients and mixed through until a fairly wet batter is formed.
Pour this into your baking vessel and bake until golden brown or a cake tester comes out clean from the center.
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Cheese and Jalapeño Polenta Bread (Cornbread)
- 150 grams plain flour (all-purpose/standard grade)
- 170 grams polenta
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoon white granulated sugar (honey or maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarb/bread soda)
- 375 grams milk
- ¼ cup chopped pickled Jalapeño
- ¼ cup Jalapeño pickle juice
- 2 eggs (large)
- 120 grams grated cheese
- 80 grams olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F. Grease and line a loaf tin, 8"x8" tin or a 9" cake tin.
- Place the flour, polenta, baking soda, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk, mix the dry ingredients to break up any clumps in the flour and distribute the ingredients evenly. Mix the grated cheese through the dry ingredients.150 grams plain flour, 170 grams polenta, 1 teaspoon table salt, 2 tablespoon white granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 120 grams grated cheese
- Add the milk, eggs and olive oil to the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined.375 grams milk, 2 eggs, 80 grams olive oil
- Pour in the Jalapeños and pickle juice, stir to combine.¼ cup chopped pickled Jalapeño, ¼ cup Jalapeño pickle juice
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the bread is golden brown, and a cake tester comes out clean from the centre of the bread.
- Allow the bread to cool before serving with butter and honey.
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly. All temperatures stated are conventional, unless otherwise stated. Recipes tested in grams and at sea level.