Brown Rice Flour

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A type of flour made from rice kernels that have been processed to remove the outer hulls, but not the nutritious bran layers covering the kernel. When the kernels are ground into flour, the resulting color is only a shade darker than flour milled from polished rice and the texture is not quite as smooth. For most recipes, both brown and white rice flour may be used interchangeably, but brown rice has a nuttier flavor. When used in baked goods, such as cakes and cookies, brown rice flour provides a grainy texture with a fine, dry crumb. Brown rice flour is gluten free so it is not suitable for baking yeast breads, but it can be combined with wheat flour for this purpose.

All types of rice flour are high in protein, but brown rice has a higher level of B vitamins, iron, and fiber than white rice flour because the bran is milled with the kernel (endosperm). It is also a suitable substitution for wheat flour for people who cannot tolerate gluten in their diets because of a severe allergic reaction (celiac disease).

Brown rice flour has a high oil content (because of the bran and germ), which causes it to become rancid if stored improperly or if stored for an excessive length of time. Brown rice flour is best stored in the refrigerator where it will keep 4 or 5 months. Freezer storage will allow brown rice flour to be used for up to a year. Although brown rice flour may be found in some large food stores, it is more often found in natural food shops, health food stores, and specialty shops.

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