The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Report on the rice flour experiment

Felila's picture

Report on the rice flour experiment

I've posted twice before re my quest to use up some brown rice flour that was given me. Thanks to the help here, I ended up substituting a cup of rice flour + vital wheat gluten for one cup of the white bread flour needed (have to do by volume and feel, don't have a scale). I used three tablespoons of vwg and filled up the rest of the one-cup measure with the brown rice flour. 

I baked my first two loaves of rice + wheat bread today. The bread is OK. It rose nicely, it's sour, it has a good crumb. It tastes different somehow. It certainly felt different when I was doing stretch-and-fold on the dough yesterday. Stretchier, but also a little grittier. 

As I've been using the same sourdough culture and recipe for years, it's not surprising that I would notice even small differences. I could get used to this bread. I have a lot of brown rice flour to use up. It was free, I'm poor, I will persevere.

clazar123's picture

I have found that the loaf can have a slightly gritty chew when I use brown rice flour. Not unpleasant but definitely present. I haven't used it in a while but I was going to try soaking it-like I do with my whole wheat- to soften it up in an attempt to eliminate that texture. Simply take the rice flour component and add the recipe liquid to it for a good long soak before adding to the rest of the flour. The water/liquid component may need to be increased a bit.

It sounds like you are rich with ability and appreciation of good bread. Thank you for following up on this. I'd be interested in how this evolves further.

DavidEF's picture

I think clazar123 has got a great idea about pre-soaking the rice flour. I wonder, too, if you have a good food processor or strong blender or stand mixer that can high-speed mix the presoaked rice flour to get an even smoother texture. I'm thinking of something along the lines of:

1. Autolyse the rice flour (and VWG) with the water from the recipe

2. Intense (high speed) mix the flour/water until smooth

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and make dough.

Also, did you use more water than usual with the rice flour? I think it should require a fair bit more than what you would use for regular (wheat) flour, because rice can absorb more.

You know what, I've got some brown rice at home. Maybe I'll play with it this weekend. I dunno, I've already got enough to do this weekend. Maybe soon, though. I'm getting curious. I just finished making txfarmer's 30% rye sourdough sandwich bread, and it blew me away how well it turned out, after I'd used up a 5# bag of rye flour and part of another trying to just get something softer than a brick. Maybe you could use that recipe, and substitute your rice flour for the rye, and not even have to add VWG to it! Or even, replace some of the bread flour in that recipe with your VWG/rice flour mix, AND substitute the rye with plain ole rice flour. I think you could get by with that, and it may shock you how well it works.


Felila's picture

But it did not seem to be necessary. The dough was the right consistency, handled properly. 

I do have an autolyse step in my process. First day, making biga and setting it out to rise. Used my usual white bread flour and whole wheat flour for this. Second day, mixing biga and water with extra yeast (for oomph) and salt, then adding 3-1/2 cups flour (one cup of which was the rice flour + vwg) to the biga slurry. I let that sit for five to ten minutes, then knead in the Kitchenaid stand mixer. Followed by stretch-and-fold and overnight retarding. Shape, rise, and bake the next day. 

I could mix the rice flour with the water in the mixer, let it stand for a while, then add the biga. That is the only change I would want to make in the recipe (Reinhart recipe) that has served me so well for so long.

dabrownman's picture

Making won ton, shu mai and and egg roll wrappers with part rice flour, tortillas too - should work..  I think the idea of tang zhonging the rice flour should work out well for bread too