Rice polish is a by-product of the process of converting naturally brown rice into white, in which the outer layer is removed by milling. It is a finer powder than rice bran, and consists of the inner layer of bran with a little of the starchy grain, and also may be called rice dust or white bran.
My topic today is courtesy of a very informative booklet produced by the United States’ Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Home Economics in 1930, called Rice Polish Makes a Valuable Addition to the Diet (1930.) The booklet has quite a number of recipes, and I include my choices from them after the brief explanatory note below:
Rice polish is the name given to that part of the rice kernel which is removed in milling brown or natural rice to make it white. Rice polish has a high food value, since it contains protein, fat and minerals, including iron, and is also a source of vitamin B. It is therefore suggested as a valuable and cheap reinforcement to the diet, especially in regions where it is available fresh from the mills during the milling season, usually from late August to early May. This includes the very months in winter and early spring when the diet is most likely to need the food substances which rice polish contains. At present the polish is available only during a limited season because it has a tendency to become rancid.
Recipes Using Rice Polish
In the preparation of quick breads, rice polish can be added to either flour or corn meal in the proportion of one cup of rice polish to two or three cups of flour or corn meal. The product is flaky, somewhat darker than a product made entirely from flour or meal. In yeast breads the same proportions of rice polish may be used with success, and in cookies, where more egg is used, even larger proportions may be incorporated. Rice polish may be used sifted or unsifted. The sifted polish makes a finer product. Although its thickening power is considerably less than that of flour, rice polish may be used for thickening gravies, sauces and puddings.
Where fresh milk is not obtainable, water may be substituted if necessary for the milk in the following recipes. Using evaporated milk or milk powder diluted to the strength of fresh milk is of course preferable from the nutritive standpoint to using water alone. One fourth of a cup of milk powder diluted with one cup of water makes a satisfactory substitute for slightly more than one cup of fresh milk. For convenience, the powder may be mixed directly with the other dry ingredients and the water added later.
And here are my two choices from the recipes in the booklet:
½ cup corn meal
½ cup rice polish
2 cups cold water
1 cup milk
2 or 3 eggs*
2 tablespoons melted butter, bacon fat or lard
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Mix the meal, rice polish, water, and salt. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the well-beaten eggs, the milk, the melted butter, and mix well. Pour into a well-buttered hot pan or glass baking dish. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at a temperature of 400° to 450°F. Serve with a spoon from the pan or dish in which the bread is baked. Spoon bread is soft like a custard or souffle and has a rich, delicious flavor.
*Variations: For the sake of economy, use only 1 egg and reduce the liquid to about 1½ cups. Or, leave out the eggs entirely, reduce the liquid to from 1 to 1¼ cups, depending on the consistency required.
Orange Drop Cookies.
½ cup rice polish
½ cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
Cream together the butter and the grated orange rind, add the sugar, the beaten egg, and the orange juice. Then add the dry ingredients which have been mixed together. Drop by spoonfuls on to a greased baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven (370° to 400°F.) at first, then lower the temperature to about 350oF.