4 to 4½ cups bread flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, margarine, or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup rasins (if desired)
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1½ tablespoons milk
Add yeast to ½ cup of warm water (115º to 120º). Try hot water from faucet. If water stings back of hand, it is to warm. In large bowl combine 2 cups of flour. In saucepan heat milk; sugar; butter, and margarine, or shortening just till warm (115º to 120º) and butter is almost melted; stir constantly. Add to flour; add eggs; and yeast. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for ½ minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in warm place till double (about 1 hour).
Punch down; work in salt; divide dough in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Salt kills yeast and is the reason to add salt later in process.
Roll one half of dough into a12x8-inch rectangle. Melt 3 tablespoons butter or margarine; spread half over dough. Combine ½ cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon;sprinkle half over dough. If desired, measure 3/4 cup raisins; sprinkle about half over dough. Roll up jelly-roll-style, beginning from longest side. (To make fewer larger rolls, roll dough from the shortest side.) Seal by pinching edges of dought together to seal firmly. Moistening the edges of the dough with water makes them easier to seal firmly. Slice into 12 pieces. Place in greased 9x1½ round baking pan. Repeat with remaining. Cover; let rise till nearly double (about 30 minutes). Bake in 375º oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from pans. If desired drizzle with Confectioners' Icing.
Confectioners' Icing: Combine 1 cup sifted powdered surgar, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk to make of drizzling consistency (about 1½ tablespoons).