Put the cornmeal in a bowl and add the hot water to it. Mix together with a fork and then add 1/2 cup of the warm milk. Mix everything till you have a paste like dough. Let it sit until the mixture cools a little and becomes lukewarm.
From here you can knead by hand or machine. Put the cornmeal dough and all the remaining ingredientsMix together the cornmeal and hot water in a small bowl. Stir in the warm milk, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix and knead them together -- by hand, mixer or bread machine -- to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and turn it around to coat well. Cover loosely and let it rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until it is puffy.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it lightly a couple of times. Shape into a ball and place it on a parchment or lightly floured/ greased baking tray. Cover loosely and let it rise for about an hour till it looks quite puffed up.
Just before baking, if you choose to, make 3 or 4 slashes about 1/4" deep on the crust. Spritz the top lightly with water and bake the loaf at 230C (450F) for 10 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 200C (400F) and let it bake for about 15 to 20 minutes till it is done and golden brown in colour.
Let it cool. Slice and serve. This recipe makes 1 loaf (about 12 slices).