How Sweet it is -- Sweet Rice Flour
Jan. 30, 2010 10:36 am
Updated: Feb. 28, 2010 6:52 am
One of the recipes I was to try last week called for white rice flour. Now for anyone who has tried anything with white rice flour in it (like rice bread --(as my youngest cat says) "Aacccckkk") the products (yes, even those lovely pre-packaged gluten-free products manufactured supposedly by people who know better) tend to be a little grainer, a little more tasteless, and generally have an ickier aftertaste than anything the gluten-tastebuds have previously experiennced. This is what turns people (or at least turned me) off the gluten-free concept.
So, when I saw this recipe, I shuddered. I have been experimenting with brown rice flour and like the taste much better but (like wholewheat flour used to be and like rye flour still is) it is harder to find (and is a little more expensive) than white rice flour (but it has none of the nasty after-taste). So I tried this recipe with brown rice flour and ... ewwwww .... Grainy ... I liked the taste, but the grainy was a little much for my gluten-dependent Hubby. So! (Three "so"s in as many sentences has to be a record!)
I was talking to a friend of mine whose daughter was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease and she told me about Sweet White Rice flour. (I know I have touted it, but I forget about it when it comes to cooking/baking because I found it once -- a few years ago ... haven't found it since.) So, last week when I went shopping I looked specifically for white rice flour. (I really didn't want to, but if that's what the recipe called for, it's gotta be good, right?!)
Anyway! I got chased into one of the quiet aisles by the crowds. I looked up to find myself in the International aisle. "Ewwwww!" was my first thought, but I decided to browse to give feeding time at the zoo a chance to wear itself out (thanks to the screaming three-year-old three aisles over). About half-way down the aisle, I saw "Glutinous Rice Flour" ("Who the heck would put gluten in rice flour?" I mused), but I picked it up and then some of my linguistics training kicked in. "Ous" means "like". Gluten-like Rice Flour. Hmmmm. Then I looked more closely. In small print, it said "Sweet White Rice". Well, I was intriqued. 25 minutes after wandering down the aisle, I emerged having overcome the "Say WHAT!? $1.89 for a tiny 400 g bag! You've got to be NUTS!" syndrome and snagging two little bags of the stuff. If it didn't work, I'd be $4.00 poorer until pay day and I would have learned something, but if it worked, I'd still be $4.00 poorer every pay day, I would have learned something, AND I'd be able to bake gluten-free without fear of icky taste or product failure ever again!
First thing I did when I got home last week was google "glutinous rice". No point in using the stuff if it was gluten or had gluten in it, so I was thrilled to find out that my linguistics training had not let me know. "Glutinous rice" is actually "sticky rice" or sweet white rice flour. No gluten involved. Just acts like it. *YAAAAY*.
Well, one week later, I tried (not the recipe that I had been yearning to try because it got temporarily mislaid in my hoards of recipes and "ooooo! Gotta Trys", which fill my AR recipe box), but I finally tried the "Gluten-Free Norwegian Pancakes" (which I adapted from an old Family Secret recipe).
Success of the Week! They WORKED! And (added plus) taste just like Dad used to make when I was little. Rule #1: Don't tell Hubby it's gluten-free. He LOVES them.
This success has led me to try my sourdough starter again and try a Sandwich Bread with sweet white rice flour. It's in the breadmaker as I write. The hardest thing about the Gluten-Free Food Plan is going without bread. Sometimes I have felt that, if I see one more potato (as much as I like the little spuds), I'm going to turn into one! Well, I'm off to see what more confusion I can create in the kitchen and live to write about it.
Oh, and I will have to report on last week's and this week's planned menu!