Simply put, croustades are crusts. So easy to make, my scrumptious version is infused with the irresistable flavor, nutrition, and the golden color of nutritional yeast powder, aka "nooch," combined with cornmeal and white whole wheat flour. Coconut oil (now known to be a "healthy" fat) and ice water make them delightfully tender and just a little bit flaky. For the preparation in the photo, I flavored them with a touch of turmeric and smoked paprika, but these croustades lend themselves to a host of different herbs and spices. Just let your topping be your guide. If you're concerned about competing tastes, you can leave out the additional spices, using only sea salt, and they will be perfectly delicious and highly adaptable. I make the croustades about 4-5 inches in diameter and use them as the base for all kinds of delicious toppings as a first course or a light lunch. However, you could make them much smaller to serve as bite-size appetizers. In the photo, I spread them with my kale pesto and then topped them with some black beans leftover from a restaurant meal, a dab of vegan sour cream, and a garnish of lightly marinated sliced carrot and radish leftover from a Chinese restaurant meal. The latter tasted of a hint of sugar and vinegar, so I just drizzled them with a little lime juice and sprinkled them with chipotle chili powder to nudge them in a more Hispanic direction. Delish!

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Cornmeal and Nooch Croustades

Serves

yield 4-5 croustades

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (unbleached all purpose is fine too; and feel free to try with whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil (semi-solid at room temperature)
  • 6-8 tablespoons iced water (start with 6 and additional tablespoons as necessary
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and about 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place all ingredients except the water in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly and moist looking.
  4. With motor running, quickly add 6 tablespoons of ice water and turn off the motor as soon as the mixture forms a ball.
  5. Add an additional tablespoon or two of water if necessary to coax it to come together.
  6. Gather any loose bits into the larger ball, and knead 2 to 3 times on a work surface.
  7. Divide the dought into 4 portions and roll each into a ball.
  8. Roll or pat each into a circle about 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick and transfer to a greased or Silpat-lined baking sheet.  (I actually form them right on the Silpat.)
  9. Prick the tops generously with a fork and bake for about 25 minutes.
  10. They should be tender, golden, and slightly golden-brown around the edges.
  11. If you desire something a little more decadent, remove them from the oven with one or two minutes of baking time to go, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle them lightly with sea salt, and return them to the oven to finish baking.
  12. Remove the baking sheet from the oven to a baking rack and allow the croustades to cool.
  13. As they cool to room temperature, they will become a bit crisper.
  14. Top as desired and serve.


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