Serbian Corn Bread (Srpska Proja)

Serbian corn bread

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
450 Calories
24g Fat
50g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 450
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 13g 67%
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 79mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 10g
Calcium 78mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Serbian cornbread, or Srpska proja, was a staple among Serbian peasants and more common than white wheat bread. It is commonly found and enjoyed in Balkan countries. Simply made with 5 ingredients—cornmeal, salt, butter, eggs, and milk, then baked, this cornbread is good for breakfast, as a side dish, or as an appetizer.

Today, proja is served warm often with cracklings, yogurt, soft cheese, cottage cheese, sauerkraut dishes, kajmak, or sarma. It can be sprinkled with feta cheese, or meat and vegetables. Proja is sometimes stuffed with cheeses, too.

Cornmeal is used in various preparations in the Balkans and is seen in Bulgarian kachamak (like polenta) and Romanian mamaliga balls, for example.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk, divided

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Serbian corn bread
    The Spruce
  2. Heat oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

    Lightly coat pan
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  3. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal with salt, butter, eggs, and 1 cup milk until thoroughly mixed, for at least 5 minutes.

    Mix cornmeal with salt, butter, eggs
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  4. Add remaining 1 cup milk and mix again for 5 minutes.

    Add remaining milk
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  5. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until golden and crumbs stick to a toothpick.

    Transfer to a prepared pan
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  6. Cut into squares, but leave in the pan, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, for a total baking time of 50 to 60 minutes. The cornbread should be crusty on all sides.

    Cut into squares
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  7. Serve warm.

Tips

  • Since this cornbread is on the dryer side, it's ideal to accompany hearty Serbian saucy dishes such as white bean soup or bean stew. This is one of those times when Miss Manners won't mind you sopping up the juices on your plate with a piece of bread.
  • Bake the proja in muffin tins instead of in a pan for easy individual servings. Lightly coat the cups with cooking spray, and put the batter in each cup, then bake in preheated oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes; to start. Keep a careful eye on them, and once the top of the muffins starts looking golden brown, check them with a toothpick.


Recipe Variations

  • You can garnish this cornbread with crumbled feta cheese, chopped ham, cooked bacon crumbles, chopped veggies including spinach and broccoli or cottage cheese.

How to Store

  • You can store this cornbread covered tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap in its original pan, or an airtight container, at room temperature for one to two days.
  • It can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container, where it will keep for three to four days.