The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Physical Disabilities

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Physical Disabilities

I am awaiting fusion surgery the end of next month (July 2010) on my right wrist due to advanced arthritis. Just the least bit of flexion causes extreme discomfort.


In the past few months I have been very successful with the no-knead method of baking tasty sourdough breads, now I even have to wait for hubby to empty the dough from the mixer bowl into the baking dish.


My question is, has anyone tried to more or less bake with one hand and could offer some tips ?  I do have a bread machine which I use as a last resort but the joy of making something myself just isn't the same and I do want to make a sweeter tasting bread but not sure if the dough without a sour starter would be as accommodating.


Much appreciated,


Anna

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I have an intermittent problem with my thumbs that can make my life clumsy. I do use a stand mixer to mix the dough-that has been a godsend. I imagine the bread machine is the same. Having the right tools helps a lot.


 As for the kneading part, I rarely knead anymore. I use the stretch and fold technique and that,too, has been great.There is a video on this site-look in the toolbar at the top for the videos or handbook or search for "streccth and fold". Essentially, mix the dough in the mixer/machine,ball it up on the counter,rets covered 15-20 min so the gluten relaxes,pull gently and fold top and bottom toward the middle(like folding a letter),then fold the other(unfolded) sides toward the middle as well.Cover so it doesn't dry out and repeat this every 45 min x 3. It can be done in a bowl with a really wet dough and either a wet or floured scraper/hand-whatever works. Shape,proof,bake.


If the heavier doughs prove undo-able, go to the higher hydration doughs. As far as a sweeter recipe using a sourdough starter, I do that all the time.Just try it and see how it comes out.My starter tastes sour but the bread it makes is not sour. I use some added yeast to decrease my rise times as my time is pretty occupied.


Even with my thumbjoints at their worst, I can still manage to use my hands like a pair of tongs and get the dough folded and shaped. We adapt and bread does,too.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

stretch and fold method working so well for you and even using the sourdough starter producing a great-tasting, nonsour bread.


Thank you so much,


anna

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

I would really suggest you use this book. I've used this method, and It's easy on the wrists. Plus, you can make a huge batch in advance and bake later.


 


Have you looked into herbal approaches to help your arthritis? Linimates (link to a youtube video) work wonders and should help heal your wrists after your surgery. I hope you have a speedy recovery! :o)

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

so very much. That healing linimate does look like a winner. Many years ago, my grandmother would treat many things with mud :)

diverpro94's picture
diverpro94

(Sorry I'm so late to reply!) No problem! My dad use to use red mud for bee stings and such. I'll keep you in my prayers!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I received it a few days ago and have already (successfully) baked a couple of sourdoughs.  Definitely a LOT easier on the wrists and still comes out perfectly.


Thank you for your prayers, I am leaving to go for a second opinion to Duke University in North Carolina tomorrow.


Best,


anna

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

hi anna


i have problems with both wrists due to distal radius fractures. the right wrist was last year & required 3 surgeries.


i use my bread machine on the dough cycle to mix & knead the dough. depending on the recipe, i allow the machine to do the 1st proof or remove it after kneading & place it in a food grade bucket for rising.


the fold & stretch technique works ok for me. 


hope this info helps you 


claudia

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

The partial use of a bread machine is a wonderful idea. I will be able to do that with hubby's help digging out the dough, or maybe it will fall out on its own after having risen for awhile. 


Thanks so much, Claudia.


anna