Activate yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water from the recipe for 5 minutes. Then add 3/4 cup water, making 1 cup.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. This dough should be soft, yet still firm enough to knead. Adjust its consistency with additional water or flour if necessary. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes or until it begins to become smooth and supple. You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine programmed for "dough" or "manual".
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick.
Moisten the dough with 1 tablespoon milk and rub all over the dough with your hands. Mix together cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough. Then sprinkle on raisins and pecans, pat them down, and roll up tightly.
Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours, or until the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan. When the bread is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread 40 minutes for soft center or 45 minutes for fully cooked center, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. If desired, rub the crust with a stick of butter; this will yield a soft, flavorful crust. Cool completely before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.