I love the contributions people bring to bread baking classes from other backgrounds not directly related to food, for instance the physiotherapists with invaluable advice on stress free effortless kneading, or the doctor who was happy for us to add any amount of salt to our bread dough but warned us to avoid all processed foods because of the salts they may contain.
This time it's a potter's view of bread baking. Understandably, warm dough is more inviting to knead than cold clay and my own bread kneading owes a lot to pottery classes at Edinburgh Art College in the 70s, but there was more to come.
We were making plaits for 5 strand challah bread when Jo, who is a pottery teacher, said that she asks people to roll out clay sausages with their eyes closed. This means you learn to feel what is happening to the clay/dough through touch rather than reacting belatedly to the mess your eyes show you. And it works!
We had the neatest platted loafs on record with the potter's plat being the best of course.