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[graphic header] The Amana Colonies: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary of a unique historic communal society in eastern Iowa

[graphic] Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery
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Front entrance to Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery
Photograph by Shannon Bell

Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery continues a tradition of baking breads and pastries in the original wood-fired stone hearth that has been in the building since it was built in 1864. Each village in the Colonies had bakeries to supply bread every day to each kitchen in the village. Middle Amana had nine kitchens that the baker would visit with his horse drawn wagon. As he approached he would ring a bell and one of the women would go out to tell him how many loaves the kitchen needed, usually about a dozen. On Saturdays a special treat arrived with the baker. He brought coffeecakes with delicious fruit fillings in the middle to grace the tables on Sunday morning. Many Amana Colony recipes are based on traditions originating in Germany: German Black Bread Homemade Style, Round White Bread, and other breads and pastries continue to be prepared in the Amana Colonies.

[historic photo]
Carl Hahn, c.1940, baking bread in the hearth oven at what is now called Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery
Photograph courtesy of the Amana Heritage Society

During the communal era of the Amana Colonies, two large grist mills were erected, one at Amana and one at West Amana, to process grain into flour. These mills were of great importance to the farmers in the vicinity, for there were no other mills nearer than Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, and for a distance of 50 miles to the west there were none at all. The processed flour was delivered to the community bakeries, including the one presently converted to Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery.

Today, the Hahn family continues to operate the bakery and the hearth oven is still used although the bricks are now heated with natural gas. It is the only open hearth bakery remaining in service in the Amana Colonies today.

The Hahn Bakery is located at 2510 J St., in Middle Amana . It is open Tuesday-Saturday 7:30am until all products are sold (usually early afternoon), April-October with limited hours in November, December and March. Call 319-622-3439 for further information.


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