With an artillery of dark and crackling hand-shaped loaves suitable for the baskets of Parisian bicycles, Amelia’s in Fletcher Place fired the first shots in Indy’s war on white bread when it opened last October. “Bread shouldn’t last three weeks on a shelf,” says the bakery’s co-owner, Charlie McIntosh.
Originally from Paoli, McIntosh took bread-making classes at King Arthur Flour in Vermont and the Baking Institute at TMB Baking in San Francisco. He honed his craft at Louisville’s Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe before bringing the artisan-carb concept to Virginia Avenue, where the Amelia’s brand first appeared on the scene as a sibling venture of Bluebeard (McIntosh is part-owner) in 2012. It has since found its way to the breadboards of several restaurants around town, from Tinker Street to Wildwood Market.
All Amelia’s breads are prepared daily to order—the dough fermenting overnight to create a deep and satisfying flavor. McIntosh’s favorite semolina loaf—studded with fennel, sesame, and poppy seeds, and sporting a sturdy crust and chewy middle—gets highlighted in dishes like Milktooth’s Uovo al Forno, Pioneer’s Hungarian Farmers Cheese & Toast, and as the gratis add-on to your bowl at downtown lunch spot Soupremacy.
McIntosh, who named the bakery after his Italian great-grandmother, likes the idea of keeping things local. “We need to get back to a culture where high-quality goods are available fresh in your neighborhood,” he says.
Charlie McIntosh’s Favorite Things
(1) Coffee at Milktooth: “They have a great machine, use high-quality coffee beans, and keep it simple.”
(2) Wildflower Ridge honey, produced in Anderson.
(3) Szechwan Garden: “It’s unusual—to Midwesterners, at least—to find good Asian food.”
(4) The Splendid Table on NPR
(5) LoveHandle: “It’s low-key and offers delicious food.”
(6) Browned-butter shortbread. Recipe here.