Gluten-Free Rice Flours Explained
RICE FLOURS HAVE SOME THICKENING PROPERTIES BUT ARE GENERALLY USED IN GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR MIXES FOR BAKED GOODS – THEY ARE FOUND TO PRODUCE SIMILAR RESULTS AS USING WHEAT FLOUR.
If you’re looking to avoid wheat flour that contains gluten, rice flour is an option. Rice flours are ground from long- or medium-grain rice, the same kind of rice that most of us probably have in our pantries. Rice flours are naturally gluten-free and nutritious alternatives to using wheat flour. They have some thickening properties but are generally used in gluten-free flour mixes for baked goods and they are found to produce similar results as using wheat flour.
Using white rice flour in your baking will produce results that are light in color. In combination with other gluten-free flours, you can produce light and fluffy cakes, pie crusts, and bread. It is also great for thickening sauces, gravies, and soups.
Brown rice flour imparts a rich, nutty flavor and will add a darker color to your baked goods.
Sweet rice flour is ground from short-grain glutinous rice, aka “sticky rice.” Don’t worry, though; the fact that it’s called glutinous rice doesn’t mean that it contains gluten. Rather, this rice has a much higher starch content than other kinds of rice, making it a very efficient thickening agent for sauces and a great binder for desserts or noodles, and it’s the main ingredient used to achieve the desired shape in Mochi, Japanese rice cakes. What’s more is even though it’s called “sweet” rice, it’s not sugary sweet at all. The flavor is mild and almost milky.