What is it?
Brown rice is the wholegrain rice before polishing. It is naturally gluten free and very useful in baking and cooking. Before white rice went through the refining process, it at one time looked exactly like brown rice. Brown rice still has the side hull and bran. The side hulls and bran provide “natural wholeness” to the grain and are rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium.
What can I do with it?
It imparts a richer, nuttier flavour than wheat flour. You can thicken sauces with it and use it for coating fish and other proteins In baking it works best in producing breads, cakes and noodles.
Rice flour on its own results in a crumbly, gritty product, so you have to mix it with other flours and starches ingredients to get a good result. The rice flour should be no more than 25% of the flour mix for best results. Adding it contributes to the nutritional value and taste of your baked goods.
To compensate for the lack of gluten in brown rice flour, you will need to add ingredients that will help your baked goods to bind. Some cooks add an additional egg and or some psyllium husks or powder.
It also produces a nicely browned gluten free coating on fried foods.
What can it do for me?
If you are trying to lose weight or suffering from diabetes, brown rice can prove a healthful staple, given its low glycaemic rating which helps reduce insulin spikes.
What can I substitute?
As gluten-free substitute for rice flour, many bakers recommend amaranth, millet flour or quinoa flour. Proportions will vary depending on the flour you substitute. Baking results may not be identical.
How do I store it?
Rice flour is best kept in an airtight container away from moisture. If properly sealed it’s shelf life can be many months. Store in the freezer to extend shelf life.