The traditional stovetop method for cooking polenta involves constant stirring. Instead, try this method for cooking polenta in the oven, adapted from Paula Wolfert; it takes almost no attention but comes out just as well every time, says Robert Lauriston:
9 cups water
2 cups coarse polenta
2 Tbsp. corn oil
2 tsp. salt
Put all ingredients in a dutch oven and stir until blended. Bake uncovered at 350 for 80 minutes; stir and bake another 10 minutes. This makes a moderately soft polenta. If you want it firm for slicing, use only 7 cups water.
Robert’s favorite polenta is Rustic Coarse Polenta Integrale from Anson Mills, which mills their products fresh to order.