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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Glutinous Rice Flour

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What is this and is it safe? I saw it on the shelf beside the regular rice flour at an Asian grocery today. The ingredient list only said "rice." Thanks.

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It is safe. The word glutinous describes it's sticky nature. It does not contain gluten. It is traditionally used for rice confections that are very sticky in nature. It is used it in gluten-free baking to mimic the properties of gluten that are absent in our gluten-free flours. It comes from a variety of rice that is different from the one used to make regular rice flour.

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If it has more "gluten-like" properties, why isn't it more commonly used versus plain rice flour? Is there a reason not to always use glutinous rice flour? I'm new to this so I'm still trying to figure what to use. Thanks.

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The traditional sweets are made with pure or almost pure glutinous rice flour and they are quite sticky. They are not usually baked in an oven. In bread a little is fine but too much and you end up with gum and/or a bread that seems uncooked in the middle. Maybe there is still some to learn about how to use it in bread and get good results so some are not using it. Plus there are other ingredients we can use to replace the gluten, like gelatin powder, xanthan gum, guar gum and extra eggs.

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I believe it's more expensive for starters. It comes from a special type of small grain rice. What you tend to get using it is a denser chewy sticky consistency. It's wonderful for the traditional Mochi which is an Asian bread food. It has a higher starch content, but it's not really a replacement for gluten. It doesn't interact with yeast the same way wheat gluten does. If you used it exclusively you'd wind up with something really dense and chewy like, well, Mochi.

If it has more "gluten-like" properties, why isn't it more commonly used versus plain rice flour? Is there a reason not to always use glutinous rice flour? I'm new to this so I'm still trying to figure what to use. Thanks.

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In latin, the word "gluten" means glue, or sticky. Glutinous rice is called such because it is glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten like wheat, barley and rye do. You will also see it labeled as sweet rice.

Glutinous rice flour is not a substitute for rice flour, it has much more holding power (gluey-ness), and will result in a much different baked good. Few recipes use sweet rice flour exclusively, but it is often used in conjunction with other flours because of its sticky properties.

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Ahhhhh ... sweet rice and glutinous rice are the same thing then! I went on a mad shopping spree today in an Asian grocery and bought a couple of pounds of sweet rice flour but passed on the glutinous rice flour. I was thinking I needed to go back tomorrow and pick up some glutinous rice flour, but lo and behold ... I already have it! Thanks, folks. I also bought plain rice flour, tapioca starch and sweet potato flour (which I thought would be orange, but it's white). Not sure what to do with the sweet potato flour, but it caught my eye so I bought a couple of pounds.

The flours were less than half of what I've been paying at my local grocery store. I hope there are no safety issues with them ... yikes!

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You'll also find that not only are they (the flours from the Asian markets) cheaper, they are a finer grind resulting in a better (less grainy) end product.

I have never had luck with sweet rice flour - even though it has never been a very big portion in any of my recipes that I've tried it in. Whenever I've used it in bread, my bread sinks and is gummy and acts like it hasn't been cooked long enough. My pancake recipe acted similarly . . . the batter wouldn't "pour", I had to spoon it out and spread it. I gave up on it. I will try it in some cookies sometime since "doughy/not quite cooked all the way" is a quality that I like in my chocolate chip cookies. ;)

I've never seen sweet potato flour . . . but as I told many people when I have talked about the gluten free diet . . . "They'll grind anything and make a flour out of it". :lol:

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I haven't worked with the sweet rice flour to make the confections(mochi) but have helped make mochi from the rice that's used for the sweet rice flour(mochiko) and the more you work it, the gummier it gets.

I don't know about the sweet potato flour, but the Japanese use a yam flour(that may or may not be the same as the sweet potato flour) and I think it may have a different texture from reg. flour(a little glutinous). It is used to make a pancake-like savory dish called okonomiyaki.

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Thanks for all the info on this thread...its been great to read...and what all is in mochi? I have never heard of it.

My sister is married to a Japanese so she uses rice in many dishes. Her MIL uses sticky rice to make rice balls. I tried it in a rice-lentil loaf b/c I had to leave out the egg. It worked but I wasn't so crazy about the "meat" loaf.

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Purple, my husband is Japanese too. Mochi is a certain variety of rice that is pounded until it forms a smooth gummy ball. It has a natural sweetness. It can be eaten like that or coated in roasted soybean powder that has a little sugar added, wrapped in dried seaweed paper and dipped in soy sauce, or a little bit of sweet red bean paste tucked in the middle. Sometimes companies wrap a thin layer of it around a ball of icecream, making mochi icecream, which is very good. The variety of rice that you used and she probably uses are sticky but not the same variety that is used for mochi. It can be found all year round but is especially part of the New Year celebration in Japan. Traditionally they cook the rice and then dump it in a special wooden vessel that looks like a hollowed out tree stump and pound it with a huge wooden mallet, adding a bit of water and turning and kneading it every so often. The kids get a kick out of taking their turn.

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Wow! Thanks for your reply. Other cultures are so interesting. Even gluten-free cooking is interesting...all new to me :rolleyes:

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