Two days ago I made this bread. It tasted sooooo good that I ate just about half of it right away. My kids loved it as well. I spread it with butter and jam and it tasted better than cake. I am not a fan of rich baked goods and I would choose this bread over cakes or cookies any time. It had the perfect combination of cinnamon, raisins and walnuts, not too much, not too little.
The night before I made a biga. This picture is very poor, sorry. A biga is a pre-ferment which I put in the fridge over night to develop flavor. In this case it is made of flour, milk, safflower oil and a tiny bit of yeast.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about biga:
Biga is a type of pre-ferment used in Italian baking. Many popular Italian breads, including ciabatta, are made using a biga. Using a biga adds complexity to the bread's flavor and is often used in breads which need a light, open texture with holes. Apart from adding to flavor and texture, a biga also helps to preserve bread by making it less perishable.
Guess what this is? Another biga? No. It is called a soaker; does not have any yeast in it and does not go in the fridge over night. I kept it at room temp. over night. It is made of flour, salt, milk and raisins.
Bread in the pan for the rise.... And rise it did beautifully.