Measure into a mixing bowl: 1/2 C. warm water and add in 2 pkgs of active dry yeast. Stir until dissolved. Stir in 1 1/2 C. of lukewarm milk, 1/2 C. sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, 1/2 C. of room temperature butter. Mix with spoon and begin adding flour to handle easily (1 cup and then 1/2 cup at a time). Keep dough soft and almost sticky, just so you can handle it. This will keep the dough from ending up hard or tough. Mix by hand and then turn out on a floured counter top. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 min). Round up in a greased bowl, grease lightly on top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a cold rise (4 hours @ 36-40 degrees or a warm rise at 75-85 degrees until double in size.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 18" x 24" wide (use a ruler because it is important to get it this size. Keep the corners as square as possible. The rolled out dough should resemble a 18x24" rectangle. Spread 1/2 pound of soft butter or margarine over the surface except for the bottom 1 " of dough. Spread the brown sugar mixture (2 C. brown sugar, 3 tbsp. cinnamon) over the butter and roll tightly from the top down towards yourself. It is very important that you roll it very evenly and tightly. Roll dough all the way down to the unbuttered seam. Measure and cut into 12 equal 2" wide rolls. Use a ruler to measure this in order to have them all cook evenly.
Line your 2 pans with parchment paper. Paper should hang over all side an inch or two. Place 6 rolls (2 rows of 3) into each of the 2- 12x8" high side pans. The pans must have high sides in order for the rolls to have something to adhere to while they bake. You can also use a 11x17" or 13x9" pan if a 12x8 " is not available.
Warm rise at 110 degrees(a warm oven with a pan of water), for 45 minutes or until the rolls fill the pans.
Preheat over to 310 degrees and bake for at least 15 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to make them up to 40 minutes. I have made this recipe in different kitchens and ovens vary so much that you will have to keep checking to make sure the center is done. The rolls will be golden brown on top, have a firm crust, and not sink down to the touch.
Frost with the cream cheese frosting when hot(4 ounces of cream cheese, 4 ounces of butter or margarine at room temperature, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp lemon extract. Cut between rolls in pan and allow to cool before removing.
These cinnamon rolls are time consuming to make, but your family will love you for it. I make these for breakfast on Christmas morning. What a delicious way to start your day!