My wife is a first-rate baker. She uses the levain method: no yeast, just naturally-occurring bacilli and yeasts. Florida's got some of those. She bakes at least three times a week -- huge, two-pound loaves. We eat it with every meal. Her bread is dense, pocketed with fissures and holes, wheaty, slightly acidic without being sour. The crust is thick, crispy, and golden. We've lived for long periods in Europe, in the heartland of good bread, and hers would stand toe-to-toe with any bread I've ever eaten.
Here's what I did with it...
This will serve two for a main dish or four as a salad. The point is to create a gustatory party of colors, textures, flavors and smells.
- a few handfuls of cherry/currant tomatoes, or a couple of large tomatoes. I like to use a mix of cherries (Sun Gold, Yellow Currant, Matt's Wild). If you're using small tomatoes, just squeeze them by the handful -- careful of the mess. Or dice the large tomatoes medium.
- lots of scallions, preferably red ones (for the color). tops and bottoms chopped roughly
- tomato-friendly herbs: mint, basil, oregano and parsley. A few handfuls of each, though let the parsley predominate.
- a few cucumbers or sweet peppers, chopped roughly (a little something crunchy)
- 1/2 c. flavorful olive oil (bring out the good stuff)
- 3-4 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
- salt (I like flake sea salt) and pepper (coarsely ground)
- 1 pound peasant bread, ideally a little stale, torn into 1 inch chunks