Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery

man taking bread out of the oven at Hahn's bakery
Man baking bread at Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery in Middle Amana, Iowa

Photo courtesy of Amana Heritage Society

Quick Facts

Location:
2510 J Street, Middle Amana IA
Significance:
Communal bakery
Designation:
National Historic Landmark
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Yes
MANAGED BY:
Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery

Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery continues to bake 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 the baker approached, he would ring a bell and a woman from the kitchen would say how many loaves the kitchen needed - usually about a dozen. On Saturdays the baker would bring coffeecakes to serve 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.

 

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. The processed flour was delivered to the community bakeries, including the one presently converted to Hahn's Hearth Oven Bakery. These mills were also important to the farmers in the vicinity as the next closest mills were in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

 

Today, the Hahn family continues to operate the bakery. 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.