This whole-grain flour is a popular choice for those who are gluten-free or looking to add more fiber to their diets. But what exactly is brown rice flour, and how does it differ from other types of flour?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what brown rice flour is, how it’s made, and the many benefits it can offer for your health and baking!
What is brown rice flour?
Brown rice flour is a type of flour that is made by grinding whole grain brown rice into a fine powder. It is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour and is often used in gluten-free baking.
The process begins with cleaning the raw brown rice to remove any impurities, then removing the hull or outer layer of the rice kernel. The brown rice is then ground using a mill or grinder to produce a fine powder. The milling process may involve several stages to achieve the desired consistency and texture of the flour. Once the rice has been ground into flour, it is typically sifted to remove any remaining large particles or debris.
There is another type of rice flour available that’s more refined: white rice flour.
What’s the difference between brown rice flour and regular flour?
Brown rice flour and regular flour have quite a few differences. Brown rice flour is made from ground up brown rice, while regular flour is made from enriched wheat.
Brown rice flour is gluten-free, which means it doesn’t contain the protein that makes wheat flour elastic and stretchy. Regular flour, on the other hand, contains gluten, which is what makes bread dough stretchy and gives baked goods a chewy texture.
Benefits of brown rice flour
Brown rice flour is free from common allergens (wheat, soy, nuts, sesame) and is one of the top gluten-free alternatives to wheat flour because it’s so versatile and nutritious. Brown rice flour is high in fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Another benefit of brown rice flour is that it has a nutty flavor and a slightly grittier texture compared to regular flour, which can add a delicious depth to baked goods like breads and muffins.
Brown rice flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Brown rice flour||150||32 g||1 g||0 g||1 g||3 g||Brown rice = 50|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with brown rice flour
Brown rice flour can be used as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour in many recipes. However, because it doesn’t contain gluten, you may need to add other ingredients to help your baked goods rise and hold their shape. Xanthan gum or guar gum are both important binders in gluten-free baking.
Brown rice flour is less absorbent than all-purpose flour, which means you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe – starting with less liquid and adding more until you get the right consistency.
Brown rice flour also tends to create a denser, crumbly texture in baked goods, so I recommend adding more eggs or applesauce to brown rice flour to help prevent your baked goods from being too dry and falling apart.
One popular savory dish that uses brown rice flour is tempura, a Japanese dish where vegetables and meat or seafood are coated in a light, crispy batter and deep-fried. Brown rice flour is a key ingredient in the batter, which gives the tempura a crunchy texture while also making it gluten-free. But that’s not all – there are so many other uses for this versatile flour…
Popular brown rice flour baked goods and dishes
- Gluten-free bread and rolls
- Brownies, muffins, and cakes
- Pancakes, waffles, and crepes
- Cookies and bars
- Pizza crusts
- Tempura batter
- Dumplings and noodles
- Gluten-free breading for chicken, fish and vegetables
- Thickener for sauce, gravy, etc.
How to make brown rice flour at home
Do you have brown rice in your pantry? If yes, then you can make your own brown rice flour!
Here is a simple recipe:
- Rinse brown rice with water and drain it.
- Spread the rice out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Allow the rice to dry completely, this may take several hours or overnight.
- Roast the rice in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the rice turns light brown and becomes fragrant.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the rice to cool completely.
- Transfer the cooled roasted rice to a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Blend the rice on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until it becomes a fine powder.
- Sift the rice flour through a fine mesh sieve to remove any remaining large pieces.
How to store brown rice flour
Keep store-bought and homemade brown rice flour in airtight containers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain freshness.
Store-bought brown rice flour typically lasts up to 6 months (or the best-before date). You should use homemade flour soon after making it – within 1-2 months since it tends to go bad or lose its quality faster than store-bought flour.
What are the best substitutes for brown rice flour?
In my experience, the best all-around substitute for brown rice flour is oat flour because it has a similar texture and flavor profile. Like brown rice flour, oat flour is gluten-free and has a slightly nutty taste.
Your next best option is white rice flour, which is like a less healthy version of brown rice flour, but it’s relatively easy to find in most grocery stores and is often less expensive than other gluten-free flours.
If gluten doesn’t bother you, I suggest whole-wheat flour as a high-fiber option that’s super easy to work with.
Brown rice flour is a type of rice flour, made by grinding brown rice grains, while rice flour can be made from any type of rice but usually refers to white rice flour.
Yes, brown rice flour is a healthy alternative to wheat flour as it is gluten-free and contains more nutrients, including fiber, protein, and vitamins than white rice flour.
Pretty much. Brown rice flour is made completely from uncooked brown rice that is finely ground up.