In a shallow 2-quart baking dish, mix 4 cups water, polenta, butter, and salt. Bake in a 350° oven for 40 minutes. Stir polenta and continue baking until creamy to bite, about 10 minutes longer. Stir again and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to thicken.
This recipe makes perfect polenta- better than the store-bought tubes, that is for sure- and it is so easy. Granted, it does not have the smoky taste that I usually get when I try (and fail, inevitably) to stir "continuously" in my Dutch oven for two hours straight, but frankly we don't miss it (or cleaning the pan). It is polenta for the masses. As the mom of a toddler, this is what I use every time I want to make polenta, for anything. Thank you for this wonderful "trick"!
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