Happy Fastnacht Day, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or any celebration you have today! Now around where I live, it’s known as Fastnacht Day (PA Dutch), or as most people know it, the day where you can literally buy donuts or fastnachts just about anywhere. Gas stations, supermarkets, churches, boy and girl scouts, literally anywhere. Just driving down the highway to my house, I saw three different signs advertising Fastnacht Day and where to get your doughnuts. I’m not complaining, let’s be honest, donuts might be one of my favorite foods, but I tend to avoid them because well, duh, they’re pretty terrible for you. BUT sometimes, you just want a donuts and instead of going out and buying them, I’ve created a super unique and delicious donuts recipe in celebration on Fastnacht Day. The donut dough is lightly flavored with real strawberries and the icing has a subtle flavor of champagne. These are really yummy twist on your every day donut!
Traditionally, Fastnacht Day or Fat Tuesday is celebrating the day before Christian holiday Ash Wednesday marking the day when Lent begins. By eating foods like doughnuts it’s reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lent season. Now these are obviously awesome any time of year (who wouldn’t want a strawberry champagne donuts?!), but would also be an awesome centerpiece to your Fastnacht Day table! This recipe does require a little love and some rising time, but trust me, they’re worth it! So let’s get kneading and frying!
Strawberry Champagne Donuts
- 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar, 2 tbsp for strawberries and 1/4 cup for dough
- 6 tbsp salted butter
- 1 1/2 cups milk (would recommend 2% or higher)
- 1/2 + 2 tbsp water, 1/2 for dough and 2 tbsp for strawberries
- 2 - 1/4 oz packets instant yeast
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 + more for dusting surface cups flour, this varies so much based on strawberries, humidity, etc. Add flour 1/2 a cup at a time and incorporate until smooth, firm, but still slightly sticky
- 2-3 tbsp oil to coat dough as it rises
- 1 to 1/2 gallon of vegetable or peanut oil for frying
For the Champagne Icing
- 4 tbsp softened butter
- 5 tbsp champagne
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 to 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Finely chop up strawberries and place in a pan with 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of water. Place on medium heat on the stove and cook down until strawberries have broken down and you have a smooth mixture. Add butter and stir until melted. Add milk, stir to combine and take off heat to cool. In a large bowl, place warm water (nothing above 110°) and sprinkle with two yeast packets. Stir to combine and then let rest for ten minutes. Yeast should have bloomed and become frothy now. **You can totally mix and kneed all this with a stand mixer but I prefer to do it by hand** Mix in 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp salt, and strawberry milk mixture. Stir until combined. Slowly incorporate flour, mixing in 1/2 a cup at a time. When dough stops sticking to the sides of bowl and forms a smooth but sticky ball, dump out on flour coated surface and kneed for about 5 minutes or until it becomes smooth but still a little sticky. Place dough in large bowl, cover with a few tbsp of oil, cover and let rest for 1-3 hours or until it's doubled in size.
- Once dough has risen, place on a well floured surface and roll out until about 1/4 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the opening or a large glass to cut donut circles. Use a piping round or beer bottle top to cut out the center. Set cut donuts aside, cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oil until it reaches 165° and slowly drop in 2-3 donuts at a time cooking one minute a side. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack with a paper towel underneath to capture excess oil. Wait for 15-20 minutes to ice, to allow enough time to cool.
- For the icing, mix together butter, vanilla, and 1/2 of powdered sugar. Slowly incorporate and mix in champagne until everything is smooth and creamy, then add remainder of powdered sugar and whip until everything is combined. Once donuts have cooled, hold them face side down and dip them into the icing. Place back on cooling rack and allow icing to set.
- **Optional** Thinly slice strawberries and place on top of donuts. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Do note, if doing this, donuts will need to be eaten right away.
I’ve included a LOT of step by step photos below because this is a more complicated recipe and I want to make it as easy to follow as possible!