is a yeast-raised potato pastry that's deep-fried like a doughnut. Fasnachts were originally made and served on Shrove Tuesday to use up the fat that was forbidden during Lent. They're diamond-shaped and often have a slit cut down the center before frying. They first appeared in Pennsylvania, although there is some argument whether the actual origin is German or Dutch.
1 cup hot mashed, unseasoned potatoes
2 cups sugar
1 cake yeast
1 cup warm water or potato water
About 7 cups flour
1 cup warm water or scalded and cooled milk
3/4 cup melted butter
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Combine the hot mashed potatoes, 1 cup of the sugar, the yeast, warm water or potato water, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat until smooth and let rise until dough is light and full of bubbles.
Then, stir the mixture down and add the remaining 1 cup sugar, the warm water or scalded and cooled milk, melted butter, eggs, salt, and the remaining 6 cups flour.
Beat together, add more flour if necessary to make a firm dough. Brush with butter, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured board. Knead lightly.
Roll out and cut with a doughnut cutter, or cut with a knife into the traditional diamond shapes. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
Fry in deep fat at 375 degrees until browned. Roll in powdered sugar when done.
This recipe makes from 5 to 6 dozen doughnuts but is easily halved. If desired, the dough may be kept in the refrigerator for several days to be used as needed.
The German potato dumpling is called Kartoffelklösse (German Potato Dumplings) Kartoffelklösse are traditionally served alongside a Roast with lashings of gravy or with Sauerbraten and Rotkohl. Leftover potato dumplings can be enjoyed the following day thickly sliced and sautéed in butter.
- 1 kg / 2 lbs of starchy potatoes
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup of plain white flour
- 1 egg
Scrub and rinse the potatoes well and place in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the unpeeled potatoes to the boil, add salt and simmer the potatoes for around 35 minutes or until they are just tender. Drain the potatoes and cool them slightly - just enough so that you can handle them. You should now be able to peel the skins away from the flesh of the potatoes with your bare hands. Once all the potatoes are peeled, cut them into even-sized pieces and refrigerate until cold. The potatoes can be prepared the previous day, if desired.
Mash the potatoes with a fork or mashing tool in a large bowl. Mix in the salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Add half a cup of flour and mix to combine. With your hands knead the mixture in the bowl until a smooth soft dough forms, add more flour by the tablespoon if the dough remains sticky. Combine one beaten egg with the mixture.
Form the mixture into smooth round balls using ¼ of a cup of dough for each ball. At this stage you may wish to insert a crouton, prune or other filling into each dumpling. Croutons are traditionally used to soak up any extra moisture inside the Kartoffelkloesse. Stoned prunes are a common filling when accompanying a Roast Goose at Christmas. A small spoonful of cooked, flavoured ground beef / mince is also a tasty alternative. Seal the filling closed inside each of the Kartoffelklösse.
In a large saucepan of salted simmering water, almost boiling, poach the completed dumplings in batches of 4 to 5. Do not place more than 4 to 5 dumplings in the pot at any one time - to prevent them from sticking together or touching during cooking, which could cause them to fall apart!
Cook the dumplings for 10 to 15 minutes or until the dumplings rise to the surface. Remove and drain each of the Kartoffelklösse with a slotted spoon into a serving dish. Keep the dish covered to conserve heat while the remaining dumplings are cooked.
(Serves 4 to 6)