Rice flour is a staple ingredient in Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Also known as rice powder, it’s made by wet or dry milling white or brown rice. The flour uses damaged or broken grains as the raw materials, which may otherwise not have a viable use.
Rice flour shouldn’t be confused with rice starch which is a completely different product. Flour is made by milling the rice while starch steeps the rice in alkaline and requires multiple stages of purification.
What is rice flour used for?
Rice flour is a versatile ingredient that is light and delicate. It is excellent for gluten free baking, which is why you’ll find it in most of the Well and Good range.
Pancakes, cookies, cakes, and rice noodles are all possible with rice flour. It’s also great used in batters when frying as the exterior gets a nice crunchy texture. When your next stew or soup needs thickening, a slurry made from rice flour will work well.
Keep in mind that rice flour isn’t perfect and it often works best in combination with other ingredients. For example, we often combine it with potato starch and tapioca starch to lighten the mix. A stabilizer like xanthan gum is also used to replicate gluten’s elasticity. It provides structure to baked goods as well as holding in moisture and binding the ingredients.
Other flours that partner well with rice flour are buckwheat, quinoa, coconut, and almond flour.
What are the health benefits of rice flour?
Gluten free: A useful wheat flour replacement for Coeliacs and those on a gluten free diet.
Source of fiber: Contains soluble fibre which keeps you fuller longer and offers a range of health benefits.
High in calcium: Rice flour contains useful levels of calcium which is ideal for maintaining bone health.
What’s the difference between white and brown rice flour?
White rice flour is made from rice that has had the bran removed while brown rice is made by grinding whole grain rice.
Of the two, brown rice flour is the healthiest option but it won’t always work in baking applications. It is heavier which means it isn’t as suitable for airy cakes and cupcakes. White rice flour is also milder in flavor, meaning it won’t overwhelm other ingredients in a recipe.
White Rice Flour
Brown Rice Flour
Always read labels
If you can’t eat gluten then be sure to check the label to ensure the rice flour hasn’t been manufactured in a factory that also processes wheat. Wheat flour tends to find its way into places it shouldn’t be as cross-contamination is always possible.
All Well and Good products are made in a facility that is free from gluten, nuts, dairy, and other major allergens.
Advantages of rice flour
Mild taste works well in many baked good recipes.
A plentiful ingredient that’s readily available in stores.
Versatile flour that works well in sweet and savoury foods.
Doesn’t add any funky flavour to recipes.
It inhibits liquid separation so it’s great as a thickening agent in foods that will be frozen or refrigerated.
Disadvantages of rice flour
Some rice flour isn’t as smooth in texture as regular wheat flour.
It doesn’t absorb liquid well which means in many recipes it needs to be paired with another flour variety.
If you need to cut gluten out of your diet then a useful gluten free flour replacement is rice flour. It’s a popular staple that we use in many of our baking mixes.
While no gluten free flour is perfect for every recipe, you’ll find that rice flour is one of the best for versatility. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to add some additional ingredients to make the recipe work.
With Christmas looming up fast we decided to whip up some gluten free baking ideas that anyone can make. These are fun projects that are perfect for kids to work on.
Remember that not all confectionery brands are gluten free so be sure to check the labelling to be sure. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer to double check it’s safe for you to eat.
We used this mud cake mix recipe to make the cake, but really it could be any cake you wanted. Don’t let us cramp your style. If you’ve got a cake mix that’s been sitting in the pantry for ages, here’s an excellent use for it.
Once you make the cake, let it cool and then decorate with gluten free pretzels and confectionery. You can make the antlers stick to the cake using icing. Icing is also a good option for decorating Rudolf’s face if you don’t have any allergy free confectionery.
Gingerbread dates back to the 15th century so it’s fair to say this yummy treat has stood the test of time! They used to be baked by monks in the form of angels but over time, the secret of gingerbread’s deliciousness spread. Now its a popular treat in most parts of the world, with the “gingerbread capital” being located in Nuremberg, Germany.
Make a batch of gingerbread with this recipe then use cookie cutters to design your people. Use gluten free icing and confectionery to decorate.
Xmas tree pops
Once again, we used the mud cake recipe for these tempting Christmas sweet treats.
Use gluten free icing and add touch of green colour to decorate them. Then finish with some gf confectionery.
For the tree trunk, use cake pops, solid straws or any other stick that’s food safe and able to hold the weight of the cake.
Do you have a favorite festive season treat you love to make? Share it with us on Facebook or Instagram.
We’ve got a lockdown activity to keep the kids busy for a couple of hours. If you want a break from cooking then how about making play dough? This version is suitable for children who are coeliacs or anyone on a diet that restricts gluten.
Making playdough is lots of fun for kids and it’s a welcome distraction from screen time. This gluten-free version is a silky soft texture and safe for kids that are continually putting hands in their mouth or the ones who can’t resist eating it – which is most of them!
You don’t need a lot to make dough, but double check everything you use is suitable for your child’s allergies. Here is what you’ll need.
3 cups of W&G gluten free plain flour
4 tbs cream of tartar
1 cup of salt
1 ¾ cup water
2 tbs oil
Add the flour, cream of tartar, salt, water and oil to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Start stirring with a spoon, but you may find it easier to combine everything with your hands as it thickens.
Once the mixture turns into a dough-like texture, separate into pieces, depending on how many colours you want to use. Carefully add a few drops of food colouring to the dough and knead it until mixed through.
Tip: There is more than one way to make play dough. Another option is to mix all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. But we thought it would be more fun to just mix it with our hands, it worked beautifully!
Once the kids have finished playing with the dough it doesn’t need to be tossed out. Instead, store it in zip-lock bags until it’s next needed. You may need to add a little oil to bring it back to life again.
We hope you enjoyed this alternative use for our flour. Stay safe and sane!
Keeping the kids occupied can be a challenge at the best of times, but during a lockdown, it gets even harder. If you’ve finished a day of home-schooling and are struggling for ideas, you may want to give them a cooking project. We’ve pulled together 12 tasty recipes that are gluten free, fun and simple to make.
Why is baking a useful experience for kids?
Teaching kids to
bake isn’t just about the eating, although that’s the fun bit. My
daughter learned everything she needed to know about the metric and
imperial systems, how to follow step-by-step instructions, what
flavours work well together, and kitchen safety.
Depending on the
child’s age, you’ll need to decide if they’re able to work solo
or need your guidance. For the young ones, the fruit skewers or cake
balls are great options; the older ones may want to try their hand at
making gnocchi for your dinner tonight?
Gluten free recipes for kids
#1 Melting moments
Sandwich freshly made icing between two crispy biscuits to create a classic Australian snack, Melting Moments.
Also, known as yo-yos, they’re frequently found in cafe jars and everyone seems to love them. What’s more, younger kids get some serious enjoyment out of joining the biscuits together.
A pancake stack is the ultimate in versatility. Cook them up and eat them for breakfast, lunch or dessert.
This recipe is for banana pancakes, but you can leave the fruit out and add for favourite savoury ingredients for a mid-week meal that’s quick and low-cost. Basically, any ingredient you use for tacos will also tasty amazing in a pancake.
This is a much-loved dessert in the United States, originating from the early settlers.
In our version, you basically fill the bottom of a baking dish with fruit and bake until almost soft. Then pour over cake mix batter and cook until set. The result is something similar to an apple crumble, and it’s a useful way to increase the fruit intake of fussy young (and old) eaters.
Coeliac Awareness Week 2020 runs from March 13th – 20th. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness of coeliac disease. To help spread the word, we’ve pulled together an introductory guide on the subject.
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where the body reacts abnormally to gluten, causing small bowel damage. Villi are tiny finger-like projections that line the bowel; they are flattened and become inflamed when gluten is consumed. This condition is a type of atrophy which reduces the available surface of the bowel to absorb the food’s nutrients.
Gluten is responsible for this damage to the body and can be found in a wide range of food and beverages. Wheat, barley, rye, and oats all contain gluten at varying levels. At first glance, this may not seem like a lot of food types; however, food manufacturers use these ingredients in a surprising number of products.
It is estimated that one in every seventy Australians has Coeliac Disease. Interestingly, of that number, around 80% have not been diagnosed. In Australia, Coeliac Awareness Week plays a major role in increasing awareness and helping people understand the symptoms.
Do you suspect you may have coeliac disease? Getting a definitive diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner is imperative. The good news is, screening for this disease is relatively simple.
Step 1: Maintain a regular diet
Before any medical testing can be carried out, you’ll need to stick to a regular gluten diet for six weeks. You probably won’t feel great over this period, but it is necessary. Testing may produce false negatives if you’re already on a gluten-free diet.
Step 2: Get blood tests
A quick blood test, referred to as serology testing, is the next step in the process of diagnosis. The test looks for elevated levels of specific antibody proteins. Higher levels indicate that there could be an immune reaction to gluten.
Step 3: Endoscopy
If the blood test results come back positive then your doctor will usually request an endoscopy. A long tube with a small camera is fed down the throat and through to the small intestine. This allows the specialist to take a close look at the lining of the intestine. At the same time, several biopsies can be taken, which involves taking some small tissue samples; any damage to the villi will be evident from analysing these tissue samples.
The thought of an endoscopy may seem overwhelming for some, but it is actually a simple procedure which usually takes under 10 minutes.
We pulled together some statistics…
* The average age for getting diagnosed with coeliac disease is 40 years of age.
* If a family member has CD, there’s a 1 in 10 chance of other family members also developing it.
* Once starting a gluten free diet, it takes 3-6 months for the small intestine to recover, in children.
* Once starting a gluten free diet, it takes 2-3 years for the small intestine to recover, in adults.
Life for a coeliac is a different world in 2020 compared to 10 years ago. There is a staggering range of products on supermarket shelves that are suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. Virtually every category of food has an ever-increasing number of options; however, there is still plenty of room for new products to be developed.
According to data published by Statista the gluten-free market is estimated to grow to almost USD$7 billion by 2025.
So, what are the common symptoms associated with coeliac disease? There is a wide range, but here are some of the more common ones:
There is a range of other symptoms so check out Coeliac Australia’s symptoms for more information.
Did you know that 12.1% of Australians have removed gluten and or wheat from their diet? This number grows each year which means there is an ever-growing base of resources in this area. If you need to eat gluten-free then you won’t be alone. There are loads of gluten free recipes that have been developed without gluten, as well as groups on social media to discuss anything related to the topic.
There’s a 15% chance that if you have coeliac disease, you’ll have another autoimmune disease. The later the age of diagnosis, the higher the possibility of developing other autoimmune disorders. Some of the common disorders associated with CD include arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid disease. For more information check out this page.
Your initial foray into eating gluten free may seem overwhelming. There are a surprising number of products that contain it. Soup, processed meat, dressings, sauces, and even beer may contain gluten.
In Australia, gluten is classified as an allergen and must be declared on the product’s nutritional label. Always check this label in-store. Even if a product is gluten-free, the food may have been made in a facility that contains allergens.
If you, or your child, are experiencing symptoms of coeliac disease then the best thing you can do is visit your doctor to get a checkup. A simple 3-step process will provide you with solid answers.
For those that have recently been diagnosed, eating out and at-home cooking may seem daunting at first. We suggest asking lots of questions and joining online groups to absorb as much information as possible. Another great option is to attend exhibitions – these are invaluable for finding new gluten free food suppliers and for staying up to date with all the latest information on coeliac disease.
Good news for all you bread-lovers across Australia. Most of the leg-work is already done! We’ve lovingly par-baked the dough in our Melbourne bakery; all you need to do is pop the loaf into an oven for 10 minutes, then slice and eat!
About the range
The team are excited to introduce our new range of bake at home artisan bread. An unsliced loaf that’s soft on the inside and crusty on the exterior. As with all our bread, these loaves are vegan-friendly and are free from gluten, soy, nuts and dairy.
The bake-at-home range is available in three delicious varieties: white, 7 seeds, and olive.
How is this range different?
1. Take advantage of a bake-at-home product
The beauty of “bake-at-home” is that the end user has more control. When you’re ready to eat the bread, it’s a quick blast in the oven to create bread that’s just like fresh bread bought from the bakery!
2. Innovative packaging
Thanks to an innovative gas-flushed bag, we can maximise the freshness of your bread without the need for preservatives. No oygen can get in, and that’s what causes bread to “age”.
3. Online shipping Australia wide
Until now, we have been unable to ship our bread to various parts of Australia due to the shelf life constraints. This artisan range has 20 days of shelf life – well, it’s actually longer but we wanted to be conservative! This allows us to ship to every part of Australia – so noone misses out.
We’re also working hard to get this artisan bread into retail stores across the country. If online shopping isn’t your thing, visit your local Independent Supermarket and let them know you want the bread in store (if it isn’t there already).