Brother Boniface Schnitzbauer, a Trappist monk who published a cookbook of his favorite recipes, died on Jan. 7. Cause of death was not released. He was 96.
Born William Schnitzbauer, he emigrated from Germany to America in 1929 and worked as a barber in Manhattan. During World War II, he served as a medic, then returned to New York to open a confectionary shop with his brother-in-law.
In 1952, something called Schnitzbauer to the Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, S.C. Although he had no baking experience when he arrived, he apprenticed with an older monk and became a master baker. His vegetarian dishes fed the Trappist Cistercian monks for more than 40 years. But his true passion was baking breads, cakes and pastries — activities he treated as if they were sacraments.
“It was an art for him and a very sacred duty,” Abbot Francis Kline said.
Schnitzbauer published the cookbook, “Baking With Brother Boniface,” in 1997. It is the most popular text sold at the abbey gift shop.
Schnitzbauer’s Favorite Recipe: Pistachio Cake