Serious Bread: Acme's Pain au Levain
This is the ideal crusty loaf for sponging up soup or pasta sauce, and for making bruschetta or open-faced grilled sandwiches.. Toasted, it's the perfect crunchy vehicle for rich, spreadable charcuterie such as pâtés, rilettes, ciccoli, and pork butter.
Bread, Potato, and Rocket Soup
2 cups diced peeled potatoes (can leave unpeeled if potatoes are clean)
3 cups water
1 tbsp. salt
1 bunch / 1/2 lb. rocket (arugula), preferably the sharper "wild" variety, washed and coarsely chopped
2 cups stale Acme pain au levain, crusts removed and cut in cubes
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Kalamata olive oil or other flavorful, dark green extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Put potatoes, water, and salt in a big pot, bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes. Add rocket, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for another 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Remove pot from heat, add bread, cover, and let sit for ten minutes. Add olive oil and pepper, correct salt, and serve.
As I discussed last week, you can find Acme's bread at many supermarkets around the Bay Area. I prefer to get it as fresh as possible by buying direct from one of the retail bakeries (1 Ferry Building in SF and 1601 San Pablo in Berkeley).