Rice Flours

  • Rice originated in Asia and is believed to have been cultivated in China up to 9000 years ago. Brown rice has had the inedible hull removed but still retains the healthy bran and germ, white rice has had the bran and germ polished off.
  • Neutral-flavored rice flour is one of the most common substitutes for regular wheat flour. Both white and brown rice can be made into flour, but the outer husk is always removed before grinding. The texture varies depending on how it’s milled—fine, medium or coarse. Fine grind is used for cookies, biscotti and other delicate baked goods. Medium grind, the most readily available, is suitable for most other baking. Coarse grind is best for cereal and coatings. Finer grinds produce the best texture in baking.

How to use: Relatively heavy and dense, rice flours work best in recipes when they’re combined with other flours, especially those that are high in protein to balance texture and build structure.
Watch out for: Too much rice flour (unless it’s super-fine grind) can produce a grainy taste and texture and can make baked goods crumbly.

          White Rice Flour

  • 1 cup weight = 158 grams
  • Is an excellent source of niacin (vitamin B3) and a moderate source of protein, thiamin (vitamin B1) and iron, and easier to digest for those with sensitive digestive systems.
  • White rice flour, while less nutritious than brown rice, has a delicate neutral flavour and light texture great for use in more refined baked goods.

Store in: a sealed container in a cool, dry place
How to use: An excellent basic flour for gluten-free baking. Because it has such a bland flavor, it is perfect for baking, as it doesn’t impart any flavors. It works well with other flours.
Watch out for: Rice flour lacks any binding ability whatsoever, and works best when combined with other flours and starches in baked goods; delicate baked goods may fail if attempted with rice flour alone.
Substitution: Many cooks like to use the sweet white rice flour in place of regular rice flour as it tends to produce smoother finer grained baked goods or you could try 100% pure buckwheat flour or teff flour. Your baked goods will be very dark though. You could also substitute with equal parts of buckwheat flour and bean flour or try sorghum flour.

         Brown Rice Flour

  • 1 cup weight = 158 grams
  • Has a nuttier flavour than white rice and due to the bran, is high in insoluble fibre which helps regulate the bowels, and is believed to be vital in protecting the body against cancerous cells. It is rich in protein, iron, niacin, thiamin, vitamin D, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, selenium, magnesium, and is an excellent source of manganese. Manganese aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones and plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. It is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function, and is a component of the antioxidant MnSOD which helps rid the body of damaging free radicals.
  • Brown rice’s high levels of neurotransmitter nutrients are also thought to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease to a considerable extent.

Store in: the refrigerator
How to use: Brown rice flour has a grainy texture, and provides more fibre than white rice flour. It is best used in combination with another flour such as potato flour or corn flour. Brown rice flour can be used to make pancakes, muffins, cookies, pie crust and cakes.
Watch out for: Rice flour lacks any binding ability whatsoever, and works best when combined with other flours and starches in baked goods; delicate baked goods may fail if attempted with rice flour alone.
Substitution: Try 100% pure buckwheat flour or teff flour. Your baked goods will be darker though. You could also substitute with equal parts of buckwheat flour and Garfava, Garbanzo (chickpea) or Fava bean flour.

          Sweet Rice Flour

  • 1 cup weight = 204 grams
  • Also known as sticky, sushi or glutinous rice flour, is from a short grain, bland, sticky rice, with a higher starch content and smoother texture than white rice flour. Good thickener, especially where separation is a concern.

Store in: a sealed container in a cool, dry place
How to use: Sweet white rice flour is as fine and powdery as cornstarch and behaves similarly in baked goods. Use up to 25 percent of total flour blend. It’s an excellent thickener and is especially good for sauces that are refrigerated or frozen as it tends to keep liquids from separating.
Watch out for: Sweet white rice flour has no bran, thus is lower in fiber and nutrients than brown rice flour. White rice flour has less folate than brown rice flour. One cup of brown rice flour has 25 grams of folate versus 5 grams of folate in one cup of white rice flour
Substitution: Try finely ground white rice flour or cornstarch