Scald milk; stir in shortening, ½c. sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle yeast on warm water in large bowl; stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 c. flour, eggs and milk mixture. Beat with electric mixer 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Or beat by hand until batter sheets off spoon. Mix in enough remaining flour with hands, a little at a time, to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in lightly greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1½ hours.
Punch down; cover and let rise again until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Turn onto board; divide in half. Round up each half to make a ball. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Roll each half into a 12 X 7″ rectangle. Combine ½c. sugar and cinnamon; save out 1tblsp. for topping. Sprinkle dough rectangles evenly with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle 1tsp. cold water over each rectangle. Spread smooth with spatula. Roll as for jelly roll, starting at narrow end. Seal long edge; tuck under ends. Place, sealed edge down, in 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
Brush tops of loaves with soft butter and sprinkle with reserved sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Bake in moderate oven (375°) 35 to 40 minutes. Cover tops of loaves with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes of baking, if necessary, to prevent excessive browning. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.