June Foodie: Indy Dough’s Amanda Gibson

Indy Dough pastry sensation Amanda Gibson

Tony Valainis

Amanda Gibson doesn’t hold a fancy culinary-school pastry degree, but you would never know it by the looks of her pâtisserie-ready Indy Dough doughnuts, crullers, and apple fritters. The self-taught baker says she learned her craft by “obsessively researching, failing, and making a pastry repetitiously,” a slow trial-and-error process that has paid off in more than 3,000 Instagram followers (at last count), sold-out pop-up events at Studio C, and blink-and-you-might-miss-them online baker’s choice box sales after COVID-19 restrictions redirected her business online.

So what if some of her recipes didn’t come out perfect on the first try? Gibson has been getting most things right lately. She had to impose a strict two-doughnut-per-person maximum at events like a King Dough fried-chicken night that featured Indy Dough’s sweets. She collaborated with Circles Ice Cream on pints of sea-salt vanilla ice cream chunked with cardamom-glazed old fashioneds, and she did a beer-and-doughnut pairing at Guggman House Brewing Company.

The Rensselaer native developed the original menu at an artisan doughnut shop in Jacksonville, Florida, before moving back home to be closer to her family and to raise a child. She appreciates the new freedom that pop-up baking events allow her—to be more creative, rather than maintaining a regular stock, and to meet people around the city when she’s working. In fact, when Gibson isn’t busy prepping for an event, she hosts the podcast Behind the Menu, on which she interviews rising stars of the pastry world. It’s a way for Gibson to learn even more while giving back a bit of her pastry knowledge and to offer her fans a little something to tide them over until they can get their hands on her next batch of goodies.

Click here for Gibson’s brown sugar crumble recipe.

(1) Tinker Coffee cold brew: “When I’m up at 3 a.m. for a pop-up at Studio C, this is what I grab first.” (2) Sourdough starters: “I call mine Murray Wilder.” (3) Cardamom: “It reminds me of chai, which I love.” (4) Kitchen scale: “Mine is digital and measures in grams.” (5) Dandy Breeze Creamery milk: “It’s great milk from Sheridan, Indiana, and you can go meet their Jersey cows on Saturday-morning farm pick-ups.”