Bring on Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday as it is known in New Orleans - the day before the start of Lent. It is Pennsylvania German tradition to make and eat fastnachts on Shrove Tuesday. What is a fastnacht - it is basically a potato based, yeast raised donut - but without a hole. It's commonplace for churches and bakeries in Pennsylvania German communities to make fastnachts to mark the beginning of Lent. Every few years I get the urge to make fastnachts and I thought you might enjoy the process. Here is my dough after it's finished proofing.
Once the dough proofs, it is rolled out,
and then cut into 3 inch squares, making a slit down the middle. They are now ready for the final proofing before frying.
Here are my fastnachts frying in LARD, yes lard! O.K. - I know it's all wrong, but this is a once a year tradition, sheer decadence.
And here is my gem of lard fried dough-y goodness - notice - no hole! Fastnachts can be coated with sugar (either powdered, granulated or cinnamon sugar) or eaten plain. I'm a purist - I prefer my fastnacht plain, split open and drizzled with syrup, Turkey Syrup, a malt flavored syrup.
And so begins the diet!