Don’t skip this step!
Start soaking as soon as you think about it. The traditional habit is to soak rice over night, which is fool proof. When rice is served every day, at every meal, this is not a problem. If you forget, it’s not a problem, because you can always start soaking at breakfast or lunch. About the only thing that doesn’t work is waiting until the last minute. The minimum soaking time is 2 hours.
Soak rice in a roughly equal amount of water. Usually all of this water gets absorbed. They will usually fit together in slightly larger measuring container. Soaked rice expands slightly, about 1/4. Example: 1 cup rice and 1 cup water fits into 2 cup measuring container. Of course, you can soak in more water, and pour off excess.
Tip: Soak rice in measured container with a cover. The cover prevents spills.
Tip: Use hot tap water to cut soaking time from 2 hours to 1 hour.
Trouble: It’s almost impossible to soak rice too long. Soaking rice for 2-3 days raises moisture to 30%, which produces excellent rice. Eventually, soaked rice will sprout. Even sprouted rice can be cooked.
Trouble: Soaking adds water and reduces cooking time, but is frequently omitted in directions, causing difference and confusion about both rice to cooking water ratio and cooking time. Start with 1:1 ratio of soaked wet brown rice to cooking water. Directions that call for 2:1 ratio dry rice to water do not soak the rice.