Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Add flour, 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar and salt; cut in 1/2 cup butter as for pastry, then add in scalded milk and egg yolk. Mix well. Chill, covered (at least 2 hours) until firm enough to handle. Turn dough on to lightly floured board, punch down, cover and allow to rest another 10 minutes. Roll into rectangle (10x18 inches) and spread with 2 tablespoons soft butter. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over dough. Using the 18 inch side, fold up a half inch to start roll and continue rolling as if in doing a jelly roll, sealing edge at end. The roll should be 18 inches long. Cut into 1 inch slices. Mix 2 cups sugar and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon on a large square of wax paper or foil. Place slices 1 at a time, so you can see the swirl on top, onto sugar mixture and roll into 5 inch rounds. Sprinkle nuts on top, if desired, and press gently. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake immediately at 400 degrees about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
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