Rice flour bread is not a traditional food, but is becoming a new trend in Japan. Even though rice has been the basic meal for Japanese since the stone age, only recently Japanese people started using rice flour to make bread.
Using rice flour instead of wheat flour makes the bread soft and fluffy. Japanese prefer soft bread rather than crumbly bread.
Most bread use wheat for its production, but since the price of the wheat went up in 2008, the cost to make wheat bread has risen too. On the other hand, the amount of rice produced in Japan was larger than the demand in the country, so the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries is recommending to use rice flour.
There are 100% rice flour bread, but some only use rice flour partially. The 100% rice flour bread is gluten free, so people with wheat allergy can eat the bread without worry. Gluten free diet is popular among young women, so rice flour bread is appropriate for their diet. Gluten free bread is low calorie, and contains amino acid that decompose fat cells.
Sanyo electronics introduced a home bakery called GOPAN in 2010 (“gohan” means rice, and “pan” means bread). The home bakery is also called rice bread cooker and it can be used to make rice bread very easily. The way it makes bread was innovative because it only requires to use rice grain, and not rice flour. The bread cooker enabled people to enjoy eating rice bread, which is almost the same as rice flour bread, at home.