Are you confused about the difference between ground rice and rice flour?
You’re not alone.
While both are made from milled rice, they have distinct differences in texture and usage.
Ground rice is coarser and can be used as a substitute for rice flour, which is a fine powder made by grinding down whole rice grains.
But is ground rice the same as rice flour?
In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between these two products, and answer some common questions about making your own rice flour at home.
So grab a cup of tea and let’s dive in!
Is Ground Rice And Rice Flour The Same?
No, ground rice and rice flour are not the same thing.
Ground rice is made by grinding uncooked rice in a food processor until it has the consistency of traditional “rice.” It is coarser than rice flour and may still contain traces of bran, which can affect the texture of your baked goods.
On the other hand, rice flour is made by grinding down whole white or brown rice grains into a fine powder. It is more refined than ground rice and is commonly used as a substitute for wheat flour.
While both are gluten-free, it’s important to note that not all rice flour is gluten-free. So if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, be sure to check the label before using it in your recipes.
What Is Ground Rice?
Ground rice is a term used to describe rice that has been ground into various forms such as broken rice, rice semolina, coarse rice powder, or flour. It is often confused with rice flour, but they are not the same thing.
Ground rice can be made by grinding uncooked rice in a food processor until it has the consistency of traditional “rice.” It is coarser than rice flour and may still contain traces of bran, which can affect the texture of your baked goods.
Ground rice is a good choice for people who are looking for gluten-free flour. However, it’s important to note that ground rice is often made from partially-milled grains and may still contain traces of bran. This can affect the texture of your baked goods.
It’s worth noting that in other countries, grinding rice has more dimensions than in the United States. In the UK, ground rice appears in two forms – rice flour and an even finer rice powder. In some parts of Asia, there are many varieties and brands of ground rice, including white and brown rice flours, roasted rice powder, and vitamin-enhanced rice flours.
If you want to make your own ground rice at home, you can use any kind of rice depending on what you want to use it for. Simply rinse the rice, drain it, pat it dry completely with a cloth, and spread it out to dry until the grains become crunchy. Then powder it into flour using a blender or coffee grinder.
What Is Rice Flour?
Rice flour is a type of flour made from milled rice grains. It can be made from either white or brown rice, and is commonly used as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free baking. Unlike ground rice, which is coarser and may contain traces of bran, rice flour is a fine powder that is more refined.
Rice flour is versatile and can be used as a thickening agent in refrigerated or frozen recipes because it inhibits liquid separation. It is also commonly used to make noodles, pastries, cakes, and as a thickening agent for soups and stews. Additionally, it can be used as a crisp coating for pan-fried dishes or in pancakes.
It’s important to note that not all rice flour is gluten-free. Be sure to check the label if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy. Overall, rice flour is a delicate, neutral-tasting flour that can be an excellent addition to your gluten-free pantry.
Differences In Texture And Usage
The main difference between ground rice and rice flour is the texture of the final product. Ground rice is slightly coarser than rice flour, and may contain traces of bran which can affect the texture of baked goods. Rice flour, on the other hand, is more refined and has a fine, creamy-off white powder texture.
In terms of usage, both ground rice and rice flour can be used as thickeners in soups and stews. Rice flour is commonly used to make noodles, pastries, cakes, and as a substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free baking. It can be made from either brown or white rice, with brown rice flour having a slightly nutty flavor and white rice flour being tasteless.
Ground rice, on the other hand, is often used in traditional British cooking to make puddings, cakes, and biscuits. It can also be used as a coating for fried foods, such as fish or chicken.
It’s important to note that the texture of your final product will be affected by the type of rice flour or ground rice you use. Finely ground rice flour will absorb liquid better and result in a better incorporation with other ingredients, leading to better baked goods. Coarser rice flours may not absorb liquid as well, resulting in flatter and greasier baked goods.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, it’s important to check the label of your rice flour to make sure it is gluten-free. Other substitutes for rice flour include cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, all-purpose flour (if gluten isn’t an issue), and wheat flour (also if gluten isn’t an issue). However, each of these substitutes will have its own unique texture and flavor profile.
Can Ground Rice Be Used As A Substitute For Rice Flour?
Ground rice is not a suitable substitute for rice flour in most baking applications. This is because ground rice is coarser and has a slightly gritty texture, which can affect the overall texture of your baked goods. While it may work in some recipes, such as shortbread, it is not recommended for use in banana bread or other similar recipes.
If you cannot find rice flour, there are several other substitutes that you can use instead. All-purpose flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, and corn flour are all good alternatives to rice flour when frying foods or using as a thickening agent in soups and sauces.
It’s important to note that not all of these substitutes are gluten-free, so if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, be sure to check the label before using them. Additionally, keep in mind that each substitute may have a slightly different flavor and texture, so you may need to experiment to find the one that works best for your recipe.
Making Your Own Rice Flour At Home
Making your own rice flour at home is a great way to ensure that you have a fresh and high-quality product. It’s also a cost-effective option, as rice itself is relatively inexpensive.
To make your own rice flour, you will need either a high-powered blender, food processor or bullet-style blender, such as a Nutri Bullet. You will also need a sifter or mesh strainer to sift out any lumps.
Start by grinding about 1-2 cups of uncooked rice at a time in your blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the grains, then run the blender on full power for 30-60 seconds until you’ve achieved a fine powder. If the powder gets hot from friction, allow it to cool for a few minutes before continuing.
Feel the rice flour between your fingers, and if it feels gritty, blend longer until it has a uniformly fine consistency. Once done, pass it through a mesh strainer or sifter to remove any hard pieces of rice that would otherwise be detectable in your recipes.
It’s important to note that if you plan on grinding a lot of rice flour, using a high-quality blender with a good motor or a grain grinder (or grain grinder attachment) may be more sustainable in the long run.
The finished rice flour can be stored in an airtight jar in the pantry for at least one year. Brown rice flour is usually safe to store for up to six months.
Common Questions About Rice Flour And Ground Rice
1. What is the difference between brown rice flour and white rice flour?
Brown rice flour is made from whole grain brown rice, which retains all three parts of the grain and provides a higher nutritional value and fiber content. White rice flour is made from white rice that has undergone further processing, where some parts of the grain are removed. This gives it a more delicate texture but a lower nutritional value.
2. Can I substitute brown rice flour with another flour in recipes?
It’s not recommended to substitute brown rice flour with another flour in recipes, as recipes are finely calibrated to work with extra finely ground brown rice flour. However, if you need to leave out the rice flour, the best replacement to use in recipes is the most finely ground sorghum you can buy.
3. Is there a difference between rice starch and rice flour?
Yes, there is a difference between rice starch and rice flour. Rice starch is made by breaking down milled rice using an alkali to slowly dissolve the rice protein and release the starch. While rice flour is used as a gluten-free flour for noodles, cereals or baking, rice starch is primarily used as a thickener.
4. Can I use ground rice instead of rice flour in recipes?
Ground rice is coarser than rice flour and may still contain traces of bran, which can affect the texture of your baked goods. It’s not recommended to use ground rice instead of rice flour in recipes that require a fine texture.
5. Is all rice flour gluten-free?
Not all rice flour is gluten-free, so it’s important to check the label before using it in your recipes if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy.