In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water, making sure to check temperature. Add 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, milk, butter, egg and the rest of the warm water. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add remaining flour gradually until a soft dough is formed.
Turn onto a floured surface. Knead dough until it loses its stickiness and is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough. Roll into a large rectangle (12x16-inches). Brush with butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Let dough rest for 8-10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut lengthwise into three 4-inch by 16-inch strips. Then cut from top to bottom into one-inch wide strips (yielding 48 pieces total). Twist each strip a couple times and place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack. Glaze if desired.