Sweet rice flour is one of the flours I consistently use in my gluten free baking. Because this flour is also referred to as “glutinous rice flour”, people tend to think it is unsafe for a gluten free diet. However, sweet rice flour is made with short grain sticky rice and the term ‘glutinous’ describes the consistency of the flour (glue like or sticky).
Sweet rice flour is very common throughout Asia to make buns, dumplings and pasties. It is readily available in most grocery stores where other Asian products are found. This flour serves as a great thickening agent for sauces, helps smooth the gritty taste of regular rice flour, adds lightness and chewiness to baked goods and is great for dusting baking pans. In addition, because sweet rice flour retains moisture, it is ideal for products that are frozen, then thawed. This flour is also easy to digest and is common in baby food as well as for dishes served to the elderly.
One cup of sweet rice flour has the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 900
- Fat: 2.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 200 grams
- Protein: 15 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
Because sweet rice flour is much different from regular rice flour (white or brown), you cannot substitute one for the other. Sweet rice flour should only be used in small proportions (not more than 15% of total amount of flour) as too much will result in a very sticky, chewy product.
As an interesting last note, sweet rice has been grown in China for the last 2000 years and according to legend, was used in the mortar to construct the Great Wall of China. So, if you don’t want your baking to feel like it can hold together a brick wall, don’t go overboard on the amount that you add to your recipes!