Add 2 yeast pockets to ½ cup lukewarm water, stir let stand 5 minutes.
Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs.
Add yeast mixture.
Then add flour, salt and 2 ½ cups lukewarm water.
Knead for 5 minutes and put in greased bowl to let rise until doubled in size - place bowl in a warm place covered (about 1 hour).
Punch down and cut in long strips.
Roll out and spread with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and raisins if desired.
Roll up and cut into two inch slices.
Place on greased pan and cover with cloth to let rise again (about 1 hour).
Bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.