Rice flour is made from ground raw rice and is used to make rice noodles and some pancakes, such as South Indian appams. It can be used to thicken soups and stews, as well as providing an alternative to wheat flour in cakes and biscuits. However, it’s gluten-free so can‘t be used to make yeasted loaves of bread.
To thicken a dish, create a roux from oil, onion and rice flour as a base before adding your liquid and simmering it. You can also use it at the end of a preparation by making gravy.
Add 1 part rice flour to 4 parts water, and mix thoroughly until it’s smooth, with no clumps.
Rice flour is a suitable substitute in baking cakes, muffins and other sweet products, but it’s most commonly substituted in sweet breads, since it has no gluten, a necessary ingredient for firm wheat bread. It works well in lighter muffins and cakes and is often combined with other non-wheat flours to achieve the desired consistency. For the best results when using rice flour in baking, use a recipe formulated specifically for rice flour as it is not an equal swap for regular flour in most cases.