So I have always kneaded fondant like I knead clay, in both situations air bubbles are bad. So I thought I'd knead fondant the same way I learnt with ceramics, a friend of mine says that you are supposed to knead fondant the way you knead bread only I thought that this encourages air bubbles? Rather confused now, your thoughts are appreciated...
Help, Nicki! what's the difference in the two ways of kneading?
I also didn't know there were different ways of kneading... is there a difference? Does it have to do with hand versus machine? I always knead my fondant by hand the same way I would knead bread... Now I'm curious!
It doesn't really matter which way you knead it as long as the end result is a nice soft pliable fondant for rolling. You are correct that in kneading it the using the clay method that you greatly reduce the occurance of air bubbles. The main reason people do not knead this way is that most people have never been taught the ox-head kneading method used for clay. I have used the clay method for a long time. I learned pottery before I ever started cake decorating.
Again, please, Nicki or cake-angel, what is this method?
Here is a link to a you tube video that describes the technique using clay.
Thanks so much, cake-angel. That spiral technique is really interesting, because I'm always at a loss as to how to knead the fondant to cover a large cake. I generall color it in smaller sections, but then I have to knead it all together so that the color is uniform (although usually up till now it hasn't been). Maybe this is the solution to my problems!
The important thing about this kneading technique is you want your kneading surface to be at a height that you can use your whole upper body to knead with and not rely on your arm strength alone. I personally have never tried the spiral technique as I was taught the ox head version. The spiral technique definately looks better for large quantity kneading. ( I mostly made coffe mugs and cereal bowls when I was doing it so I didn't need more than I could handle with the ox head method. LOL)
Good point about the height of the surface you're kneading on, cake-angel. I'm always using just my arms and hands for strength, and it's not enough to do it right, but it is enough to give me a good case of tendinitis every once in a while!
You can try standing on a small stool to get higher than your work surface, that helps to really get your back and shoulders involved, and will be less tiring on the arms.