Zen of baking pizzas and bread



Few weeks back i stepped out from my shell to put fire to my passion i.e. making Pizzas and also get a knack of of baking bread. I started it by attending a instructor based workshop.

Before attending the workshop  i used to to bake pizzas at home, i was successful in making Pizza but also sensed that there are lot of things i could improve on. For e.g. I realised that making a pizza sauce can be simplified, the toughest challenge was how to knead.  In the past i have watched videos and articles but i couldn’t figure out how to knead. Some where deep inside i realised that kneading, bread making is something that you cant learn from books, online videos. Online videos didn’t work for me.

This is where Nutritionist : Nandita Iyers cooking class came to rescue. https://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail.

Initially i was hesitant to pay a huge amount of money. One of the reason’s i was contradicting myself was, there are plethora of online videos and book from which i could have learned. The problem with too much of information and so online content is that you are not able to judge when you should give up 🙂 . One online resource after another, one youtube channel after another, one blog after another, ohh gosh online world is endless.

I decided that best way to learn something is stand next to person and learn it.  Also a big thanks to my Wife for pushing me to attend the class.

While attending the class, initially i was hesitant to come in front and learn. Thats where skilled Nandita Iyer spotted and brought me to front.  A slight push really helped me to break the barrier and learn the art of kneading.

Comparing attending a workshop to online learning here are the differences:

1. Involvement – You are really involved, you have taken a dedicated amount of time to do only one thing. If you are learning through online class, there are chances that you might get distracted. Take away is “You are there”

2. Feedback – My friends we know that computer is a machine without a consciousness, it works on knowledge not intelligence. Machines have started becoming intelligent but we are not there yet.  Hold your breath for a while.

As of now Machines can’t tell you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. On a instructor led workshop you will get lot of feedback on what you are doing wrong and sometimes pat on back for doing it right.  You can ask questions, discuss things in detail. Nonetheless i am waiting for days when computers will be intelligent enough to give you feedback.

3. Visual treat – Attending a workshop is a visual treat, when you are communicating with a computer sense organs involved are : Eyes and Ear. When i attended a workshop i realised that smell plays an important role, ability to touch and feel.

There are other things like networking, meeting people, etc which also adds to joy of attending a class.

There are couple of things that i noted.

1. Online learning is a fad – Online learning works in scenarios like learning programming, technology etc but when it comes to things like Cooking you better start with attending a workshop. Once you are skilled enough you can pick up from videos and books

2. Lost – I can easily say that we are lost in age of online world, we have started believing in things which doesn’t work.  There are lot of people who are purchasing apps, videos but my gut feel is amateurs like me will fail and waste there money.  Not saying apps, videos are fail, the point is no one educates that first step is to learn by standing next to instructor.  Videos, apps , books has to come later.

I don’t know if there are any communities, software to promote this kind of learning. I have a long way to go, to improve my pizza making skills but while we are learning we have discovered there are good problems to be solved. Lets bring back traditional way of learning. Like Zen, from master to disciple 🙂

Image credits : Nandita Iyer, Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail/photos/a.676440005734302.1073741846.107892849255690/676440035734299/?type=3&theater



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