How to Ferment Cornmeal

How to make fermented cornmeal - grits - hominy - polenta for improved digestion

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Here’s how to prepare fermented cornmeal, polenta or hominy. The recipe is the same regardless as to what type of ground corn that is being used. Fermented cornmeal can be used to make cornbread, grits or Italian polenta.




  • 1 cup cornmeal (coarse, medium or fine)
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 tbsp lactic culture (see notes)


  • 12 cups water (see notes)
  • Additional oil, milk or flavours (see the section above)


  1. Mix the cornmeal with the water and culture in a large glass bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it in a warm to ferment for 12-24 hours – on the kitchen counter is fine.
  3. When you are ready to cook the corn meal, scrape the soaked cornmeal and any additional fermenting liquid into a saucepan.
  4. Add in the additional water (or milk) and boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until cornmeal is soft and the liquid is gone.


  • Cornmeal breaks down best with a lactic culture. Use yogurt, buttermilk, kefir or whey. For a vegan option, use vegan yogurt.
  • The cornmeal will either be firm or soft depending on how much liquid you add during the cooking. Use 1 cup for firm cornmeal or 2 cups for soft cornmeal.

Keywords: polenta, cornmeal, grits, hominy, gluten free, vegan, egg free, wheat free, traditional, grain