You may be familiar with agave from the use of blue agave in the making of tequila. Non-alcoholic agave nectar also can be useful as a sweetener in many recipes. It is somewhat similar in taste and consistency to honey, and can be substituted in a one-to-one ratio for honey, sugar or other sweeteners in any recipe. It usually is found only in health and other specialty food stores, and may command a more expensive price than cane sugar.
Combine yeast, milk, butter and agave in one mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
Combine all dry ingredients, including raisins and excepting yeast, in the other mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little at a time. Make sure they are combined before starting to stir in the next small amount. Continue this until the mixture becomes too thick to stir with a spoon.
Continue kneading the dry and wet ingredients by hand until a smooth, elastic ball forms. Work in a little more milk, a drizzle at a time, if the dough is too dry.
Set aside in a warm place in your kitchen, free from drafts. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, at least 1-1/2 hours.
Form the dough into a loaf shape and place in pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the loaf pan with more plastic wrap and set it on the stove to proof again. Do not begin baking until the loaf has risen at least 1/2 inch above the top of the pan.
Bake for 40 minutes to one hour. Check for doneness after 40 minutes by flipping the loaf out of the pan and tapping the bottom with your knuckles. When it sounds hollow, it is done. If it needs more time, set your timer for five-minute increments and check it every time the timer goes off. Allow to cool for half an hour before cutting and eating.