I found this on Allrecipes, posted by Fionasmom, and tried it over the Christmas holidays this year. Everyone agrees it is a winner and pretty easy. You can make the dough the night before and finish making them in the morning.
Combine the 4 tablespoons water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Allow to proof for about 15 minutes in warm place covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
Mix remaining wet ingredients for dough in mixer (or by hand). Add yeast mixture. Mix till combined.
Switch whisk attachment w/ the dough hook or knead by hand. Slowly mix in the flour with the dough hook, on a low speed. Once flour is more or less blended, knead at a high speed till it forms a sort of ball around the dough hook.
Put in large greased and/or lightly floured bowl. Cover & let rise in warm place till doubled in size (about 30-40 minutes- don't leave longer, even not yet doubled).
Remove the dough, and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Roll out to a large rectangle.
Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread over dough. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and raisins, if desired. Starting with the widest end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch to seal seams. Cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch slices, and place in a greased 9x13 inch pan. (This is the point where they can be placed in the fridge until morning. If doing so, just place a large pan of boiling water in the oven (near the bottom) and put the pan of rolls in above it. Within 30 minutes or so, they will rise and you will be ready to bake them.) Place in a draft-free space, and allow to rise until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. To make frosting, mix the milk, confectioners sugar, softened butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.