I saw Alton Brown deep fry sea food in a batter of rice flour and just enough water to make a batter. Can it really be that easy? What else do you do with rice flour?
First off, you can quickly make your own rice flour by milling rice in a coffee/spice mill (it's also a good way to "clean" the mill). Fresh is always best!!! When you purchase rice flour, you can't be sure how old it is, nor what variety of rice was used to make it.
All rice flour is not created equal...
-There's not much difference in performance and color between white and brown rice flour. White is a bit whiter, has a smoother texture, and a little less flavor. The difference in performance is between the rice varieties.
-Flour made from any long-grain rice is best used for breading, sauces, and as a thickener - it's not the best choice for baking.
-If you are going to bake with rice flour, use medium and short grain rice for the flour. Medium and short grain rice flour can be used as an all-purpose type of rice flour - both for things long-grain rice is used for, AND baking.
-For one cup of rice flour, grind a scant 3/4 c. (3/4 c. minus 1 T.) short-grain rice or 3/4 c. long-grain rice.
-You can replace part of the flour in cookies with rice flour if you want a really crispy cookie.
-You'll find a lot of recipes using rice flour in gluten-free cookbooks, usually in combination with other gluten-free flours.
-You can make a gluten-free sourdough starter by using rice flour.
CHINEESE ALMOND COOKIES
(Source: The Splendid Grain - by Rebecca Wood)
(Note: the texture of this cookies is light and sandy/gritty from the rice flour.)
5 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. Sucanat or packed light brown sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1/2 t. almond extrace
1-1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/4 t. sea salt
18 blanched almonds
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside (note: I use parchment paper).
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and almond extract. Stir in the flour and salt until well mixed. (The dough may be baked immediately or refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 5 days.)
Roll the dough into walnut-size balls. Place 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Flatten with your fingertips. Press an almond half into the center of each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. (May be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)
LIZ DAVIS'S WHEAT-FREE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
(Source: All-American Waves of Grain - by Barbara Grunese and Virginia Van Vynckt)
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. vegetable shortening or unsalted butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. brown rice flour (or soy flour)
1/2 c. potato STARCH (NOT potato flour)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Preheat the oven to 325Â°F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the peanut butter with the shortening until light and creamy.
Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg just until mixed.
In a medium bowl, combine the brown rice flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and mix well.
Roll the pieces of dough into 1-1/2-inch balls. Place on the prapared cookie sheet. Dip a fork in cold water and press the tines gently against the cookies to make a crisscross design and to flatten them slightly.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden. Let cool briefly on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin. These cookies freeze well.
128 calories, 7.5 g. fat, 2 g. saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g. dietary fiber, 123 mg. sodium
You can make rice milk by mixing rice flour and water. I use rice flour in my flatbread recipe - it makes the crackers a bit crunchier. I've also used it as a partial substitute for wheat flour in waffles, and it makes them come out crisper, but I don't sub more than about 1/8 of the wheat flour. Rice flour will also help make cookies a bit crisper, although I've never done a complete substitution for wheat flour - only partial. (I just read that Grainlady already said that - sorry for the repeat, but I wanted to add that I've done that as well.)
Absolutely the most fantastic, fabulous, tasty, delicate, yummy Scottish shortbread in the world (Annie's via Readinglady recipe). Yum. One of my very favorite cookies.
I use rice flour as a base for my gluten free baking flour blends. Lots of recipes, but you have to add other flours or starches to it usually.