Monday, March 9, 2015

Rice Flour

Racahaut, blanc mange, snow-balls, flummery, breads, cakes, cookies, puddings, custard, waffles, journey cakes, slap jacks, fried bread and more could be made from rice flour.  Who knew??

It was new to me.  About 15 years ago I came across Racahaut, a cocoa, more HERE, in Elizabeth Ellicott Lea's cookbook, and thought it would be interesting to try, but didn't, then.  Chocolate is always great... but with rice??

Rice flour, as seen in the first picture with Rice Flour Bread, is finely ground rice.  If at home, a "clean mill kept for the purpose" could be used if the cook is careful not to grind it into a paste.  Marion Harland suggested as a substitute to boil a cup of rice "to a thin paste, mashing and beating it smooth."

The Carolina Housewife, and the later 3d enlarged edition of 1855, online, House and Home: or The Carolina Housewife: by a lady of Charleston [Sarah Rutledge] contained numerous rice recipes and many using rice flour.  Some recipes even combined boiled rice and rice flour.  Her Rice Custard, below, is a thin type of custard prepared over the coals or on a stove.  I used a couple tablespoons of almond meal and 1/3 cup of sugar.

Rice Custard.—Mix a pint of milk, half a pint of cream, one ounce of rice flour, half a dozen bitter almonds, blanched and pounded, with two table-spoonfuls of rose-water; sweeten with loaf-sugar, and stir it over the fire till it nearly boils; then add the well-beaten yolks of three eggs; let it simmer for about one minute, stirring all the time. Pour it into a dish or cups, with sugar and nutmeg over it.

Many of the recipes used boiling milk to soften and thicken the rice flour.  Recipes in the previous post on Racahaut used that method.  The more rice flour the thicker the recipe such as the blanc mange... 1 C to 4 C milk.  Snow-balls, which I preferred to the Rice Flour Blanc Mange, are solid but not as thick using 6T to 4 C milk.  The pudding, pictured below, used 5 T rice flour, 4 C milk, eggs, and one stick of butter (too much butter, really).  My experimentation is over, for a while.
Now back to the Rice Flour Bread, which is like cornbread - light, with a bit of grittiness.  I made a smaller portion and used baking soda (not dissolved in water).  Some other period recipes added a little sugar... just like cornbread made from cornmeal.

RICE FLOUR BREAD.—Sift into a pan a pint and a half of rice flour, and a pint and a half of fine wheat flour. Add two large tablespoonfuls of fresh butter or lard, and mix in a pint and a half of milk. Beat four eggs very light; then stir them gradually into the mixture. When the whole has been well mixed, add, at the last, a small tea-spoonful of soda or saleratus, dissolved in as much warm water as will cover it. Put the whole into a buttered tin pan, set it immediately into a quick oven, and bake it well. It is best when eaten fresh. Slice and butter it.
The Lady's Receipt-book: A Useful Companion for Large or Small Families by Eliza Leslie.  Phila: 1847

©2015 Patricia Bixler Reber
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