Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



I mentioned last week that my family would be celebrating Shrove Tuesday in German style, with the treat the Germans apparently enjoy at the Fastnacht festivals -- the German Mardi
gras -- Fastnacht meaning the Fast Night, or the night before the fast. We didn't make crazy masks or dance in the streets or anything -- just fried up some yummy doughnuts.

Just for safekeeping, I am posting the recipe, so that next year, I'll have my pictures and the recipe right where I need them. It seems a pity to enjoy these yummy little treats only once a year, but considering that they are fried, sugared doughnuts, maybe it's a good thing. The mashed potatoes in these little dunkers makes them soft and light inside -- you'll find it impossible to eat just one.

I used the recipe found here, but modified it for fewer doughnuts and less measuring. I rolled my finished doughnuts in granulated sugar, but you could use powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar or even a confectionary glaze -- your call.


1 c. milk
2 medium white potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled until fork tender
1/4 c. sugar plus 1 t. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 t. rapid rise yeast
2 T. warm water
3 c. flour (you might need a little more depending on humidity)
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 t. salt
5 cups oil
(I used Canola and Crisco mixed)

Heat the milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave until steaming (or on the stove if you prefer). Drain potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add hot milk and mix until well mashed. Let cool until warm.

Add sugar and butter and mix with an electric mixer at low speed. If the mixture is still warm, cool to about room temperature before proceeding with next step.

Dissolve the yeast and teaspoon sugar in barely warm water. Add to the potato mixture and mix well. Add 1 cup flour and the egg and mix again. Slowly add remaining flour to dough in mixer bowl with dough hook, or knead in by hand. Use enough flour to get a soft, but not sticky dough.

Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover with a thin towel, and let rise in a warm, draft free place for about an hour or until it is at least double in size.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 3/4" thick. You can use a doughnut cutter to cut the dough or cut as typical Fastnachts -- cut the dough into 3" to 4" wide strips, then cut the strips into 3" to 4" pieces. To allow the center of Fastnacht to fry completely, cut a small slit in the center of each piece, using a sharp paring knife. Arrange the pieces of dough, about 1-1/2" to 2" apart, on large wax paper lined trays (
I just used the flour-covered countertop because I didn't need the space).

Cover with a thin towel. Place the trays in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough pieces have raised to about double in size.

Heat the oil to 365ยบ F
(until oil bubbles quickly around a bit of dough or the wooden handle of a spoon). Deep fry until both sides are golden brown, turning one time. Drain on white paper towels.

Promptly roll in sugar.

To use this raised doughnut recipe for glazed doughnuts:
Beat together: 2-1/2 c. confectioners' sugar, 4 T. butter and 1 t. vanilla. Add enough milk to make a thin glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly warm doughnuts or dip the doughnuts in the glaze.

For powdered doughnuts:
Shake slightly warm doughnuts in a bag with confectioners' sugar, or a combination of confectioners' sugar and cinnamon.

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Deborah said...

WOW! Those look positively sinful, definitely a once a year treat. I've only made doughnuts once or twice but will have to try this one for sure. yum.

Aimee said...

I can't tell you how much I LOVE fastnachts. They are something the whole community looks forward to around here, mostly due to the prevalence of the PA Dutch. I made some last year, but ran out of time this year -- luckily the grocery stores and fire companies sell them in brown bags on Fat Tuesday. Not as good as homemade, but it's any fastnacht in a storm for me ;)

Anonymous said...

Barb, here in Pennsylvania, in Dutch country, fastnachts are everywhere (even now...into Lent!). The older PA German people like them best served with table syrup--one brand is called Turkey syrup, I think. It's kinda like a dark Karo. (The same syrup is used in Shoo-fly pie--much milder in taste than a traditional molasses). They slice the fastnacht in half, lengthwise, and pour the syrup on the doughnut & eat it! I like them best with sugar, myself. ~Laura

Heidi said...

Thanks for the fastnacht recipe! My dad's family is PA Dutch and we always eat them with the syrup. I never saw them with sugar but that looks good too. They are impossible to find in NJ so I have to make them myself. Paczyki, on the other hand, are everywhere! Thanks for your great blog!