Thursday, January 31, 2013
It's Fastnacht Time
The annual Fastnacht Bake at Holy Trinity in Columbia begins early in February. This
will be our 89th year of producing over 7-thousand dozen. This project began in 1924 to
raise money for construction of a new church building.
One important element to emphasis in any story is the fact that the public MUST PRE-
ORDER fastnachts. There are no walk-in opportunities.
The fastnacht hot-line is 684-0487. Operators will be taking orders beginning Monday,
February 4th between 9:00AM and 6:00PM, Monday through Friday
Plain fastnachts sell for $5.50 a dozen while a dozen glazed sell for $6.50 a dozen.
Here are a facts of interest:
- Fastnacht (FAHS-nahkt) is related to the Germanic word Fasten (to fast, abstain from eating). The
definition of fastnacht - a yeast-raised potato pastry that is deep-fried like a doughnut. Fastnachts were
originally made on Shrove Tuesday to use up the stored fat and lard that was forbidden during Lent.
- Today’s Fastnacht Bake has evolved into a parish project which includes about 116 men and women
volunteers. It is one of the largest fund raising efforts of the parish.
- January 25, 1989 the national spotlight was focused on the Fastnacht Bake. NBC’s Willard Scott, from
the TODAY Show, originated all of his weather segments “live” from Holy Trinity in Columbia.
- The process of making fastnachts begins with the Night Crew. Approximately 20 to 25 volunteers
measure, weigh and mix the ingredients producing on average 56 batches. The dough is poured into large
metal cans. These are then placed in the “warming closet” to allow the dough to rise during the night.
The army of rollers begin arriving at 4:00am to start rolling, shaping and cutting the dough into
fastnachts. Each batch or can of dough will produce approximately 11.4 dozen. After shaping and
cutting the fastnachts they are placed on long cloth covered boards for further rising. When the
fastnachts are properly raised they are transferred to the frying area.
Other volunteers arrive around 5:30am to operate the fryers. Six frying units will be in continuous
operation for six hours. After frying in a cholesterol free substance they reach the peak of
perfection and are placed in cooling trays. The next step is the glazing process, which is all done
Still other volunteers handle the sorting, counting and bagging, in preparation for pickup by the
public or delivery to area factories and other places of business.
- Fastnachts are baked on Monday, February 11, Shrove Tuesday, February 12 and Ash Wednesday,
February 13. After that, there are four weeks of bakes during Lent, on Mondays and Wednesdays only.
The last bake is Wednesday, March 13th.
- More than seven thousand dozen fastnachts are produced during the Lenten Season.
The operation takes place in the Holy Trinity Parish Center, 4th and Cherry Streets, Columbia, site of Our
Lady of the Angels School.