Mardi Gras, Karnival, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday,
NO! It’s Fastnacht Day!
A fastnacht is a disgustingly cloying, heavy, fattening, near tasteless, bit of boiled-in-fat, potato dough which is then doused in 10X sugar and drowned in maple syrup to rot away any tooth enamel that may have escaped last year.
Apparently it’s and old German tradition, geez, how unusual for central PA. In all fairness though I guess if you like doughnuts then you would like Fastnachts. It’s a big deal around here. Every local church will have their doors wide open and lines out in to the street selling their artery clogging wares.
Here is a recipe for fastnachts.
Serve with maple syrup and sprinkled with sugar
1 packet of yeast dissolved in
1/2 cup warm water with
1 tsp sugar
1 cup hot, mashed potatoes
1 cup sugar
1 cup water that the potatoes were boiled in (lukewarm)
1 cup all purpose flour
Mix potatoes, sugar, potato water and flour; add yeast dissolved in water. Let rise in a warm place for several hours.
1 cup sugar
1 cup lukewarm water or milk
3/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups sifted flour for stiff dough (about)
Mix all together, cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour or two—till the dough has doubled in size. Knead lightly, adding more flour to make a stiff dough. Now, according to all instruction, you’re supposed to let the dough rise again for another hour or two, but that means you’d be fussing with these things all day; figure it out; this would be its third rising, with another to come; I think at this point I’d be reckless and divide the dough in thirds and start rolling it out. What matters if you do have a few large holes in your fastnachts? Take your choice, rise or roll. I’d try rolling the dough to about ¾ inch thickness.
Fastnachts have a traditional diamond shape; cut them into diamonds with a knife. Another essential is to cut a slit across the top of each fastnacht with a sharp knife.
Let the fastnachts rise, covered, in a warm place, till they’re springy to the touch; when they’re quite fat and puffy, drop them with the raised side down into fat that is hot enough to brown a bread cube—375 degrees.