Are you confused about the difference between rice flour and ground rice?
You’re not alone.
While both are made from milled rice, they have distinct differences in texture and usage.
Rice flour is a fine powder made from grinding down whole white or brown rice grains, while ground rice is coarser and can be made by grinding uncooked rice in a food processor.
But is one better than the other?
In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between rice flour and ground rice, and help you determine which one is best for your cooking needs.
So, let’s dive in!
Is Rice Flour And Ground Rice The Same?
No, rice flour and ground rice are not the same thing.
While both are made from milled rice, the texture and usage of each product differ.
Rice flour is a fine powder that is made by grinding down whole white or brown rice grains. It is commonly used as a substitute for wheat flour and is a popular choice for those who follow a gluten-free diet.
On the other hand, ground rice is coarser and can be made by grinding uncooked rice in a food processor. It is often used in recipes that call for a crunchy texture, such as in coatings for fried foods or in puddings.
It’s important to note that ground rice may still contain traces of bran, which can affect the texture of your baked goods. Rice flour, on the other hand, is more refined and does not contain any actual ground rice.
What Is Rice Flour?
Rice flour is a delicate, neutral-tasting gluten-free flour that is made by grinding down whole white or brown rice grains into a fine powder. It is a staple in Asian cuisine, especially in South Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisines. Rice flour can be milled at different levels, ranging from coarse to super fine. However, the flour called for in most recipes refers to the fine and super fine varieties.
One of the advantages of using rice flour in cooking and baking is that it does not add its flavor to the dish like other types of flour. For instance, gram flour or chickpea flour has a distinct taste that can affect the overall flavor of the dish. Rice flour blends in with the dish like all-purpose flour, and you never taste or notice it.
Rice flour is also an excellent substitute for refined flours like all-purpose flour or cornstarch. If you are trying to avoid or reduce refined flours in your diet, rice flour is a great alternative. Many recipes work well with this substitution.
What Is Ground Rice?
Ground rice is a term used to describe rice that has been ground into various textures, including broken rice, rice semolina, coarse rice powder, or flour. It is often confused with rice flour, but the two are not the same. Ground rice is coarser and can have a slightly gritty texture due to the presence of bran. It is commonly used in recipes where a crunchy texture is desired, such as in coatings for fried foods or in puddings.
To make ground rice, uncooked rice (white or brown) is ground in a food processor until it has the consistency of traditional “rice.” However, it’s important to note that ground rice may still contain traces of bran, which can affect the texture of your baked goods. Rice flour, on the other hand, is made by grinding down whole white or brown rice grains into a fine powder. It is more refined and does not contain any actual ground rice.
In some countries, such as parts of Asia, grinding rice has become an art form with many varieties and brands of rice flour available. These include white and brown rice flours, as well as flours mixed with ground dal and/or corn, roasted rice powder, and vitamin-enhanced rice flours. However, in the United States and the UK, “rice flour” is typically the only form of ground rice available.
When using ground rice in baking recipes, it’s important to allow your batter to rest for at least 10-15 minutes before placing it in the oven. This allows the finely ground rice to soften slightly and better absorb liquids, which can help prevent any potential grittiness.
Differences In Texture And Usage
When it comes to texture, rice flour is a very fine powder, while ground rice is coarser. This difference in texture can affect the outcome of your recipe. Rice flour is great for recipes that require a smooth texture, such as cakes and pastries. It is also an excellent thickener for sauces and gravies.
Ground rice, on the other hand, is perfect for recipes that require a crunchy texture. It can be used as a coating for fried foods or added to puddings for extra texture. However, because it is coarser than rice flour, it may not work well in recipes that require a smooth texture.
It’s important to note that the texture of rice flour can vary depending on the brand you choose. Some brands may be grittier than others, which can affect the outcome of your recipe. It’s best to choose a finely ground rice flour to ensure that it incorporates well with the other ingredients in your recipe.
Which One Is Better For Baking?
When it comes to baking, rice flour is the better option. Rice flour is finely ground, making it easier to incorporate into baked goods and providing a smoother texture. It is also a popular choice for those who follow a gluten-free diet as it does not contain gluten.
Ground rice, on the other hand, can be gritty and may contain traces of bran which can affect the texture of your baked goods. It is better suited for recipes that call for a crunchy texture, such as in coatings for fried foods or in puddings.
While both rice flour and ground rice can be used in baking, it’s important to choose the right one for your recipe. If you want a smooth texture and are looking for a gluten-free option, rice flour is the way to go. If you’re looking for a crunchy texture, ground rice may be a better choice.
Which One Is Better For Thickening?
When it comes to thickening, both rice flour and cornstarch are suitable options. Rice flour is more versatile as it can be used both as a roux or slurry, while cornstarch’s use is limited to slurry for thickening purposes. However, cornstarch has a higher thickening power than rice flour, meaning that you’ll need to use less of it to achieve the same thickness.
All-purpose flour can also be used as a thickener in a pinch, but it has about half the thickening power of cornstarch, so you’ll need to use twice as much.
It’s important to note that when using rice flour or cornstarch as a thickener, you should mix them with a small amount of cold water before adding them to your sauce or gravy. This will prevent clumping and ensure that the thickener is evenly distributed.
Ultimately, the choice between rice flour and cornstarch for thickening depends on your personal preference and the recipe you’re making. If you’re looking for a more versatile option that can be used in a variety of ways, rice flour may be the better choice. If you’re looking for a more powerful thickener that requires less product, cornstarch may be the way to go.
For those who follow a gluten-free diet, both rice flour and ground rice are great options. Rice flour is a popular substitute for wheat flour and can be used in a variety of baked goods such as bread, cakes, and cookies. It is also commonly used as a thickener in sauces and gravies.
Ground rice, on the other hand, is a great alternative to breadcrumbs for coating meats and vegetables. It can also be used in gluten-free puddings and desserts.
When using either rice flour or ground rice, it’s important to read the label to ensure that it is certified gluten-free. While rice itself does not contain gluten, cross-contamination can occur during processing or packaging.
It’s also worth noting that there are different types of rice flour available, including white rice flour and brown rice flour. Brown rice flour is made from the whole grain and contains more fiber and nutrients compared to white rice flour. Both options are great for gluten-free baking, but it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.