This recipe takes a little bit of time, but it works for me because I usually make the focaccia dough and keep some on hand even if I don’t have immediate plans to use it. If you prefer a quicker method for cinnamon rolls, try Elizabeth or mom VanDuzer’s recipe, which you can find here. Any way you make them they are delicious!

Over the past few months, we’ve hosted a few workdays at the FEU to enlist some help with tasks like cleaning, painting and gardening around the grounds here. We start our day together at 8:30 by eating some kind of fresh baked good with coffee or tea, and then we work until lunchtime. The past few times I’ve made muffins, which are always a big hit. However, I had some of my favorite dough on hand, so I decided to go ahead and make Cinnamon Rolls this time.

I combined all my favorite recipes for these cinnamon rolls.

I start with Brian’s Focaccia pizza dough (which has to be made overnight, but lasts up to 2 weeks once it’s made).


Then I use Elizabeth Weaver’s method for rolling the dough and rolling up those little cinnamon buns, which is a recipe that was passed down from her grandmother.

I use a combination of Elizabeth and my mother-in-law’s recipe for the drizzle on top – usually just butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and a little vanilla.

I let them sit overnight to rise just like mom VanDuzer does.

Many people were praying for good weather today (to stave off the 70% chance of rain that was originally predicted). Thank you for your prayers – the rain held off just until we started eating lunch and we were able to finish staining all of the shutters!

Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
  • DOUGH:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 ¼ cups water at 80 degrees
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup water at 105 degrees
  • 1 heaping tablespoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1-1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  2. The night before you plan to bake the focaccia, make your “poolish.” In a very large mixing bowl, mix together the first 4 cups of flour, yeast and 2 ¼ cups of 80-degree water into a very goopy mixture called a poolish. Cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel and set it aside at room temperature overnight.
  3. MAKING THE DOUGH: The following morning (12-14 hours later), check your poolish mixture. It should be very bubbly and have bubbles that come to the surface and pop every few seconds.
  4. Next, mix together the flour and salt. Measure out the 105-degree water. The temperature is very important! If your meat thermometer doesn’t read this, try using your household digital thermometer.
  5. Pour (most of) the water around the edge of the poolish to loosen the mixture from the side of the bowl. Add the flour and salt mixture and combine by hand until the mixture resembles dough, adding the remainder of the water or additional flour if necessary.
  6. Stretch the dough mixture once or twice, roll it under on itself so that it forms a nice smooth ball. Cover the mixture and leave it out at room temperature for 6-8 hours more. (If you do not plan to use it that evening, refrigerate the dough, covered, up to two weeks. Just be sure to allow it to reach room temperature before baking.)
  7. TO MAKE THE CINNAMON ROLLS, divide the dough into two parts. Roll out in oblong pieces approximately 8”x 14.” Spread about 2-3 T of softened butter on the dough. Then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll them up and cut into 1½ “ widths. Place them in a 9×13 inch baking sheet. Let rise overnight, or at least 2-3 hours in a warm place.
  8. Bake at 350 until lightly browned (about 30 minutes in my oven). Do not over bake.
  9. Drizzle with frosting before serving – Melt butter on medium heat in large saucepan, stir until it starts to bubble, then add water. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved and it begins to boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and cool. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls. Serve and enjoy!