A tale of three physiotherapistsOver the last three weeks we have had the good fortune to have three physiotherapists attend baking classes here at BreadinFife, not as a group, just alongside others.
As far as I remember everyone made good bread in these classes, but it was at the kneading stage that things got interesting.
To start at the end, the third physio said I should unlock my knees in order to be better grounded and more in balance. This I now do which makes it easier to move my weight into the kneading.
Physio no 2 gave advice which I find harder to follow. She said that I should use my core strength which seems to involve sucking my navel in to my spine, difficult with them being a fair distance apart. This probably needs a return visit or perhaps physio no 4 will come along to tell me exactly where my core strengths (if any) lie.
No 1 physio listened to my advice on kneading, watched what I did, then happily did her own thing which we will come to in a moment. Now, I normally knead by pushing the heel of my right hand into the dough to stretch it directly away from me across the bench before flipping it back with a twist of my fingers ready to begin the cycle again and occasionally I swap hands to give my right hand a rest.
Ph1 said I was putting undue strain on one side of my body was also using my arm rather than my body weight to do the kneading. Her evolving method, based on the butterfly massage technique, is to alternate pushing diagonally across from centre to left with the right hand with diagonally across from centre to right with the left hand. Are you still with me? There is also a bit of a rock from side to side to get body weight rather than arm muscles to do the work.
And it works brilliantly. Well kneaded dough with much less effort. Where before I might take little breaks to clean dough (unnecessarily) from my hands now I just knead for 10 or 15 minutes continuously. It probably won't work with very wet doughs but does ok up to 5 kilos.
Ph1 has the surname Boyes so there you have it, The Boyes Own Butterfly Kneading Method. You will know when you have got it right. In place of the usual fairy ring on the worktop after kneading, guess what, it leaves a heart.
Now let's begin! Unlock your knees, think of your core strength (?), and ... right arm in and to the left, pull back, left arm in and to the right, pull back, right arm in and to the left ..........