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Lightly toast the polenta in a dry frying pan for 3-4 mins, stirring to ensure even cooking, until the polenta has heated through, is fragrant and small patches are starting to turn golden brown. Take off the heat, tip half into a large bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir well, cover and leave to soak for 2-3 hrs.
Melt the butter in a 25cm ovenproof frying pan (a cast-iron one is perfect) and heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Stir the butter and the remaining ingredients, including the rest of the toasted polenta and 1/2 tsp salt, into the buttermilk and polenta mixture. (Don’t wipe out the frying pan – the slick of butter will ensure the bread doesn’t stick.)
Put the pan back on the heat and turn up the temperature. Pour the mixture into the pan – it should sizzle as it hits it, like a Yorkshire pudding. Put the whole pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and firm in the middle. Leave to cool a little, then serve cut into wedges.