I am new to baking with white rice flour, what's the best way to compensate for the "dry-ness" factor that comes with using it vs. wheat flour?
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You can substitute, but you're right -- rice flour will absorb more moisture. You can compensate by adding more eggs (or of the liquid in your recipe) until you reach the desired consistency. If you choose eggs, the end product may be slightly richer.
It is also an issue of protein levels (rice flour is very low compared to wheat flour), so that's another area where the extra eggs will help. In a savory situation, that may be enough. If you are trying to bake with rice flour instead of wheat, you will need many more adjustments than just adding eggs. I'd recommend finding a few good GF cookbooks (or blogs, there are a number of really good ones out there) and using their tested recipes.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
I agree with SeaJambon that getting a couple of GF cookbooks will help you significantly. In terms of baking, especially, you'll discover that a combination of is used for their various protein levels and contribution to the final texture. Rice flour alone can either, turn gummy because of, as noted, absorbing excessive moisture, or be grainy. One book I recommend for baking is Gluten-Free Baking Classics:
Carol is a gluten-free chef and food blogger currently cooking her way through the Alinea Cookbook.
Lillie, rice flour can't be substituted 1:1 for wheat flour, especially when baking. You'll need to use a combination of flours (rice, sorghum, potato) and add some sort of gum (xanthan) to compensate for the lack of gluten. I've found Jeanne Sauvage's advice on her website (Art of Gluten-Free Baking) to be really helpful: http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com/baking-tips/
Good luck -- and let us know what you end up doing!
Thanks all! My experiments this week and weekend seem to show that it depends what I am making. Some things like a yellow sheet cake I substituted one for one and it was perfect, but more complex baking recipes require more careful planning and figuring out in terms of substitution.
Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.
What recipe are you using it in?