Living in PA Dutch country, Shrove Day or Fat Tuesday is celebrated to the full German extent. The tradition is to eat the very best foods, and lots of it, before the Lenten fast. Traditionally, fastnachts are made to use up the lard, sugar, butter, eggs and other rich foods in a house before the austere diet of Lent begins. What ever the traditions are, these are the best once a year doughnuts out there!
2 Idaho Potatoes, Peeled and Quartered
2 T Salt
1 1/2 C Granulated sugar
1/2 oz Yeast
2 Eggs, Beaten
5 oz Butter
6 C AP Flour
Oil for Frying
Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and season generously with the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until very tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the potato cooking water. Drain and mash the potatoes. Set the mashed potatoes aside and cool slightly.
Stir together the mashed potatoes, reserved potato cooking water, sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let the mixture rise until it’s nice and foamy. About 20 minutes.
Add the eggs and melted butter. Add the flour, one cup at a time. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and form it into a ball. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. about 2 hours.
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Turn your dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out about 1/2″ thick. Using a large round cutter, cut out your doughnuts and set them on your prepared parchment. Cover and allow to rise about 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large pot to 370F. Gently slide your doughnuts into the oil being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry for about 90 sec. per side.
Remove from the oil and drain the excess oil off. If you wish, put in a paper bag and toss with sugar, either granulated or 10x. Traditionally the dutch also cut them in half and spread them with molasses.
How ever you choose to eat them, eat them like the dutch do…in large amounts!
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