As a Moderator who has been active and spent several years on the forum, and who knows where all of the bodies are buried, I can understand how difficult it must be for new members to navigate the forum and find things. The forum does have a well-maintained and monitored indexing system (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php
) that you might want to study to get the lay of the land, but the sheer amount of information can still be overwhelming, especially as the forum has grown and now records about 3000-4000 new posts a month. A course such as offered by AIB (where Tom Lehmann works) and others helps bring order out of chaos, but at a price. For chaos on this forum, you pay nothing. You have to work for food. All of our members are unpaid volunteers who contribute and help others in need because of their kind and generous nature.
However, to address your question specifically, if I were to create a Pizza101 curriculum, it would have three main parts. First would be a discussion of all of the different ingredients that go into making different kinds of pizzas. This would include flours types/blends, yeast types, and other related ingredients (like salt, sugar and oils/fats) and how and why they are used. Second would be a discussion of pizza gear and apparatus that can be used to make pizza, including dough mixing equipment (I would also include a hand kneading option), the use of baking media such as pizza stones/tiles, pizza screens, disks, pans, etc., peels, cutters, scales, storage containers, useful gadgets, and ovens. Third would be a discussion of the different pizza styles and what goes into them and how best to make them. For actual hands-on pizza making, the students could select a particular style of pizza to make. Absent such a selection, I personally would suggest a basic NY street style pizza.
As an alternative to the above three-part approach, a curriculum could be devised that addresses only a single type or style pizza. For example, a course could be devised to instruct how to make just a NY style pizza, a Chicago deep-dish pizza, an American style pizza, a Neapolitan style pizza, etc. The course of instruction, including ingredients, dough preparation and management, recommended pizza gear, sources, etc., would be targeted to only that style of pizza. This course would be an easier one than the more general and comprehensive three-part curriculum outlined above because of its narrower scope.
In your case, for now, I would suggest the following:
1. Study the forum's indexing system to get an overall understanding of the way the indexing system is set up and run. A side benefit of this exercise is that you will also learn better where to enter new posts. This makes my job as a Moderator easier since I don't have to move things around if posted in the wrong place.
2. Learn how to use the forum's search features. There are essentially two such features, an Advanced search feature accessed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=search;advanced
and a Google Custom Search that can be accessed at the bottom of the forum's index page. For a discussion of how best to use the Advanced search feature, see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3101.msg26282.html#msg26282
. The Advanced search feature will only look for the specific keywords listed, including misspelled words. By contrast, the Google Custom Search tolerates misspelled words and other errors and is broader in the scope of its search. I frequently use both search features, often several times a day.
3. Check out the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html
. When I suggest the Pizza Glossary to new members, I usually tell them to read the entire Pizza Glossary at least twice so that the information has a better chance of sinking in.
4. If you are only interested in a particular pizza style, limit your research and study to that one style, using the forum's index and board devoted to that style along with using the aforementioned search features, if needed. You might also check out the stickies to see if they are what you are looking for. For some specific dough recipes, you might also check out the collections set forth at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8297.0.html
("emergency" dough recipes) and at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11860.0.html
(New York style dough recipes). For the Lehmann NY style dough recipe, which may well be the most popular recipe on the forum, you might check out the Roadmap at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.0.html
5. Once you are able to enjoy a measure of success with your pizza making, you might explore the forum's dough calculating tools at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_tools.html
. You should also check out the tools that one of the forum's members, November, created for the benefit of our members at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/
6. If none of the above gets you what you are looking for, post what you are looking for on the forum. We have some amazingly talented and knowledgeable members on the forum.