If you ask Hannah Scroggins her favorite thing about baking bread, it won’t be how it makes her house smells (though her house smells delicious), or about how it’s a healthier choice she’s making for her family (though it is). No, if you ask Hannah her favorite thing about this hobby-turned-passion, what she loves most about baking bread is simply giving it away.
Hannah, the woman behind Hannah’s Homemade, an internet-first bread-making tutorial and Homewood artisan bread making instructor, is the first to admit that her journey to making bread, good bread, was a long one. “I thought I was gluten-intolerant,” says Hannah as she serves up skillet-warmed fresh sourdough topped with butter and homemade jam. “Then I ate quality bread.”
Inspired, she began making her own sourdough, but it wasn’t all roses and rainbows. “After about two and a half year of terrible bread, I took away the KitchenAid and started kneading by hand,” says Hannah, who prayed as she kneaded, focusing on her growing family. “And it got better.”
From there she began gifting the loaves, and friends started asking how they could make their own bread for their families. “It’s easier to show than to tell,” she says. She was finding her Edgewood home tucked behind Dawson was often filled with friends and neighbors interested in the process. Her husband, Jesse, encouraged her to host a class and make things official.
“I taught three classes in here,” she says, gesturing around her charming living room, dining room and kitchen. “We brought in chairs. We had to take the table out!” There was no charge for the classes, each of which hosted 20 neighbors. “I have a job,” says Hannah, who works in distribution and sales for Juice Plus. “This is my passion.”
At each class, Hannah provided a recipe and a starter for everyone who brought a glass jar. They watched her work a new loaf and sampled another at the end. “Everything evolved very organically,” she says. But soon she realized she needed a game plan. Making starter for 60 required more time (and kitchen space) than she could manage, plus, “I wanted to make a place where women could learn from one another.”
Born in a family of five kids, Hannah fell in love with Homewood before she even saw it. She met her husband at JH Ranch in California, which is based in Birmingham. Jesse, a Tuscaloosa native, bought their one-story classic Homewood house on a corner lot without Hannah even seeing it. “If it’s in Homewood, I know I’ll love it,” she told him.
She likens the Lake Bluff area of Chicago in the Lake Bluff where she grew up to her now-home. “We walked everywhere there, too, from the park to the ice cream shop,” she says, noting she knew she wanted her kids (Levi, age 3, and Teddy, 1) to have the same coming-of-age as she did. Her Homewood house might be 13 hours from her original hometown, but it’s a perfect reflection of Hannah’s youth.
From that same Homewood house, she’s now launched an online class on Patreon, a website that caters to creators. “I put all my recipes for bread and tips on there, as well as favorite tricks of mine, like how to make household cleaners with essential oils,” Hannah says. “I add two or three new recipes each month that go out to my subscribers.” While users do pay a nominal fee to access the information and resources on Patreon (Hannah’s content is $2, total, for complete bread instructional videos and recipes), that goes to cover costs. “As a working mom with two kids who is also getting dinner on the table, I couldn’t stay on top of all the requests I got. Now I can send everyone to Patreon and they can get what they need,” she says.
But the heart of it all is still closely tied to people. “Through my classes, I’ve met neighbors, friends and even friends’ moms,” says Hannah. “Not everyone wants to make a hobby of bread, so you know if they’re in the class, they’re probably your people.”
Find Hannah on Patreon at patreon.com/hannahshomemade.
- Favorite Bread: Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough
- Favorite Instagram Account for Inspiration: @Sally.Clarkson
- Favorite Baked Goods to Make with Starter: English Muffins and Sourdough Pancakes
- Favorite Homewood Date Night: Gian Marco’s Wine Bar
- Favorite Homewood Family Night: Avocado Salad at Little Donkey, then to Central Park to play
- Favorite Family Meals: Rotate proteins, then add a salad with roasted veggies plus a grain
Bake with Hannah
If sourdough has been your dream, now’s the time to make it a reality. Join Hannah and 24 of your soon-to-be best friends for a night of break making and leave with a starter of your own.
Bread Making with Hannah’s Homemade
Bloom Studios in Cahaba Heights
Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.