3 ½ to 4 c flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp salt
2 packages regular dry yeast
1 c very warm milk (120 to 130 degrees)
1/3 c butter, softened
1 large egg
4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick), softened
½ c raisins, if desired
¼ c sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Mix 2 c of the flour, 1/3 c sugar, the salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add warm milk, 1/3 c butter and the egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 ½ hours or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
Punch down dough. Flatten with hands or rolling pin into rectangle, 15 x 10 inches, on lightly floured surface. Spread with 2 Tbsp butter, then sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Roll rectangle up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch and shape until event. Cut roll into 16 1-inch slices. Place slightly apart in greased 9 x 13 pan Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes, or until double.
Heat oven to 350.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with vanilla glaze if desired.
Baking in a 9 x 13 pan makes a “brick” of rolls you can pull apart, with soft sides. If you prefer individual cinnamon rolls that are browned on all sides, bake them several inches apart on a cookie sheet.