Fastnacht Day is Here!

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Happy Fastnacht Day! How ever you spell it; there are several versions out there: also spelled Fasnacht, Fausnacht, Fauschnaut, or Fosnacht. Anyway, today is Shrove Tuesday which is Fastnacht or donut Day in Pennsylvania.  A true fastnacht has some potato in it and the texture should to be light yet substantial and moist. It can have a hole or not but no filling or fancy sprinkly crazy donut flavors.  It is a basic old school donut and people around the Lehigh Valley love them.  I can guarantee you that hundreds, no thousands, of fastnacht donuts are being munched on as I type this!

I pretty much gave donuts up a number of years ago and only ate them on Fastnacht Day. They are so fattening and oinky plus I never eat many so making a batch, even a half batch, used to leave me with a lot of donuts to give away. When I went gluten free exactly 2 years ago today I gave them up totally.  It wasn’t the biggest food sacrifice I made (there are too many choices for that award to even mention here!) but I do miss that treat on this special day.

Yesterday I looked at recipes, wanting to find a donut recipe for which I had the ingredients and could make within the time frame of the day, meaning no 12 hour to 2 day rise recipes.  The best looking and sounding recipe had just that; a minimum twelve hour rise.  Nixed it and went for a version that was made from extra flaky buttermilk biscuit dough.  No yeast, no rising. Some freezing and a lot of folding and rolling was part of the deal. No sweat, just make sure you have two cups of the special gf pastry flour recipe made up plus some for sprinkling on your bread board.

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I can’t share the recipe; created by Nicole Hunn of Gluten Free on a Shoestring fame, she does not allow recipes of hers to be shared in blog posts like mine.  You can get it right from her website:  The dough goes together fairly easily.  I found it best to use my pastry cutter to blend in the flour properly.  I froze most of it rolled and cut into round and rectangular biscuits for later use.  I only made 4 donuts and 4 donut holes.  Containing my donut possibilities down to something manageable! I probably should have smoothed my dough more; it is a bit craggy, reminds me of sour cream cake donuts…. Next time….

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I made one change to my donut finishing; I added a good sprinkle of nutmeg to the granulated sugar and thus gave them some of the flavor of my mom’s lovely yeast donuts.

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Next Fastnacht Day I will create Nicole’s yeast raised donuts – just have to plan a few days in advance so her amazing dough has time to organize itself properly in the cold raising phase in my fridge. Do check that recipe out in her book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, along with many other tempting breads.  It is not too late to whip up a batch of oinky donuts that are gluten free and yummy.

Happy Fastnacht Day to all my donut loving friends! Time for my fastnacht!

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