One out of every 133 people cannot eat regular bread which is made from wheat flour. These people are sensitive to gluten which is the protein found in wheat. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where the gluten attacks the small intestine in people causing severe abdominal pain, cramping, or diarrhea whenever wheat or gluten is ingested. Since most bread in the United States and abroad is made from wheat, new flour blends are being made which do not use wheat. One of these is rice flour.
Rice flour is usually made up of both white and brown rice. It is a healthy flour since the rice is not processed like in normal rice. The germ and the husk of the grain remain intact, therefore, the important nutrients are saved. Rice flour can also be enriched so even more nutrients and minerals can be added and absorbed by the grain.
Rice flour can be used to make wonderful tasty crispy bread that is great for sandwiches. Yeast is still added to the bread so it rises, and an ingredient known as Guar gum or Xanthan gum is added to replace the gluten. This makes the bread hold together and gives it stability. Other flours can be added to rice flour to make bread. Sorghum, cornstarch, potato starch, and even tapioca are a few flours that are commonly found in breads.
Bread made with rice flour is usually much more expensive than the two dollars per loaf of white bread that most supermarkets sell. Rice flour bread can cost anywere from five dollars up to ten dollars or more per loaf. It is usually produced in a manufacturing plant that does not also manufacture wheat products. This prevents cross contamination of the wheat gluten onto the rice flour products. This is very important for individuals needing to maintain a diet free of any wheat or gluten, even the minutest amount.
Rice flour bread is a healthy alternative for people who love a good slice of bread but who cannot eat wheat bread.