If using ciabatta or baguette, slice the bread lengthwise. For a round loaf, cut thick slices. Slice tomatoes in half.
Turn the broiler on high and place a rack in the upper third of the oven. Place the bread crust side up on a sheet pan and place under the broiler. Once the crust has gotten crispy, flip the bread over and lightly toast the other side. See important note below about using the broiler.
As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, rub the tomato halves all over it. Try to get as much pulp as you can onto the bread. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.
Warning: When using the broiler, do not walk away! Leave the oven open slightly so you can watch at all times. The bread will toast VERY quickly and you don't want it to burn to a crisp when you're not paying attention.
If using the garlic, slice a clove in half and rub the clove all over the bread when it comes out of the oven, then rub with tomato.
Some recipes ask you to grate the tomato and put it on top. This is the Spanish preparation method. In the Catalán region, it is made by rubbing the tomato directly onto the bread.
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