The actor was a talented chef whose recipes included this famous cardamom bread, a bestseller at local charity auctions.
Alfred’s Cardamom Bread
(A Ten Chimney’s Foundation Favorite. Ten Chimneys - the national historic landmark estate after the acting couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine: 'The Farm'
1 cup milk, scalded
18 ground cardamom seeds
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter
2 beaten eggs
2 pgs. yeast
½ cup warm water
2 cups flour
cinnamon and sugar
1 beaten egg for egg wash
To scalded milk, add the ground cardamom seeds, sugar, and butter. Mix. Add eggs and yeast (that has been softened in the ½ cup warm water). Beat well. Add flour (may use more than 2 cups if needed) to make a slightly sticky dough. Grease dough. Let rise until double. Cut down. Let rise one hour. Make into braids in cinnamon and sugar. Let rise again. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 40 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and return to oven for another 25 minutes.
Recipe from Alfred Lunt’s cookbook, available through the Ten Chimney’s Foundation. The foreword quotes an interview from Actors talk about Acting with Alfred Lunt:
“I’m supposed to be writing a cookbook. I want to tell you! What can I do?! It’s the same thing over and over: Put it in the oven. Take it out. How many words are there? It must be the same. Stir and spoon. And after a while, you look at the goddamn thing—for it is no great literary effort, you know—It is so boring yet, it must be clear.
And I asked Truman Capote. I said, ‘Will you tell me how, when you make a pie crust, just describe this? I want it in words. How would you “Do this, now do that” in a few words?’ I asked. ‘I could show you how, but put it in words…’ And he couldn’t.”
The author himself humbly submits the cookbook to those “who like to cook, to those who have never cooked but wish to, and to those who do not want to cook but have to.”
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Ten Chimneys Foundation - www.tenchimneys.org