While traditional baking revolves around wheat flour, successful gluten-free baking utilizes a variety of different flours blended in various combinations. Rice flour is a foundational ingredient in the majority of gluten-free baked goods. The flours made from rice include white rice flour, sweet white rice flour, and brown rice flour. However, rice flour is rarely used alone as a substitute for wheat flour. It’s common to find that flour blends combine one or more varieties of rice flour with other “white” flours, typically potato flour and tapioca starch. These ingredients create a blend that helps replace all-purpose wheat flour.
You’ll find these flours used in different ratios in both recipes and packaged products. It’s nice to have these individual flours on hand in your kitchen. However, you will also find other flours widely used in combination with rice flour, including sorghum flour, soy flour, bean flours and lesser known flours with wonderful baking powers made from nutritious grains including amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa and teff.
In addition to the flours and starches of gluten-free baking, xanthan gum and guar gum are regularly used to help replace the extendibility of gluten and provide the binding structure in a gluten-free baked good. When dampened, these gums provide viscosity and binding properties for blending the flours together and making a gluten-free dough or batter.