When I was at home with my folks my Mom would make these every year on Shrove Tuesday. Fastnacht translates from German to "Night of Fast". The story is that you want to clear the lard and flour from the pantry before Lent. I began making them for my family when they were little. They keep pushing me to make them more often. My gang doesn't even wait for them to cool down.
2 1/2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Shortening
2 tsp Salt
2 packets Yeast
6 Eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
9-10 cups Flour, sifted
Powdered Sugar to dredge
- Scald the milk, add shortening and salt.
- Cool milk until it is lukewarm; then add yeast. Stir.
- Gradually add 5 1/3 cups sifted flour, beating batter thoroughly.
- Put in warm place and allow to stand until full of bubbles.
- Mix sugar with nutmeg and combine with beaten eggs.
- Stir into first mixture and remaining 3 2/3 - 4 2/3 cup flour.
- Knead well, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
- Turn out lightly onto floured board and roll 3/4 inch thick.
- Cut with a doughnut cutter or biscuit cutter, shaping into ball or make into twists.
- Cover with a thin cloth and let rise on board until top is springy to touch of finger.
- Drop into hot fat (375) with the raised side down, so the top side will rise while under side cooks.
- Drain on absorbent paper.
Yields 6 dozen.