Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 minutes.
Scald the milk then pour over the shortening. Add sugar and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour adding one at a time beating after each addition.
Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle. Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1-1/2 hours.
Press dough down and divide into workable size. Roll dough out into a rectangle. Cover with melted butter. Layer with a VERY generous thick layer of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon as desired. If you like raisins, layer on a layer of raisins. Roll up jellyroll fashion.
Using a scissors or a piece of string, cut off slices about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick. Place slices in an 8 or 9 inch round greased cake pan. Place one slice in the middle and other slices around it. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Let rise until rolls fill the pan generously -- about another hour.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 15 - 20 minutes. If rolls get too brown, cover with a piece of tine foil until the end of baking. Do not over bake rolls.
Remove immediately from pan by inverting onto a plate and then tip over onto another plate to right the rolls.
For the Frosting:.
In a medium bowl, place sugar, butter and vanilla. Then stir in enough milk or cream to reach a thick, hardly-able to stir consistency.
Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.