This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
1 tablespoon sugar
Scald the milk. Allow it to cool until it is lukewarm; then add the sugar, corn-meal and salt. If shortening is used, add it. Place in a fruit can or a heavy crock or pitcher and surround by water at about 120° F. Water at this temperature is the hottest in which the hand can be held without inconvenience. Approximately this temperature can be secured by mixing equal parts of boiling water and cold (not icy) water. Allow the mixture to stand for six or seven hours, or until it shows signs of fermentation. When it is fermented sufficiently the gas can be heard as it escapes. This leaven contains enough liquid for one loaf. If more loaves are needed, add 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoonful shortening for each additional loaf to be made. Beat thoroughly and put the sponge again at the temperature of about 120° F. When it is very light, add more flour gradually until the dough is so stiff that it can be kneaded without sticking to the hands or to the board. Knead ten or fifteen minutes; put at once into the pans; allow to rise until about two and one-half times its original bulk, and bake. This bread is never so light as bread raised with yeast. A loaf made with one cup of liquid therefore Will come not quite up to the top of a pan of standard size.