Substitute waffle chaffle doubles as sandwich bread

If cooking is a game, give big points to whoever invented the chaffle, a foodie buzz on the internet and social media.

The staple recipe for the flourless creation, popular with people on ketogenic or gluten-free diets, is cheese and eggs, combined and cooked in a miniature waffle maker.

Break up the words “cheese” and “waffle” and you have chaffle.

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Seasonings can be added for sweet chaffles like a typical breakfast waffle, or changed to savory profiles for chaffles reimagined as a sandwich bun or hamburger bun substitute.

People on ketogenic and gluten-free diets are always interested in attractive substitutes for bread. But high-protein, high-calorie chaffles are also appealing to others because they’re filling.

Two chaffles are a combined 450 calories when made with a cup of mozzarella and a medium egg. That’s more than double the 200 calories of two typical frozen waffles.

But, unlike carb-heavy waffles, chaffles don’t leave you looking for a post-breakfast nap.

I’ve been living in a trouble-free world until recently, when a friend shared a photo of her creation on social media. I’ve made a few keto meals and was intrigued, especially by the simplicity of the recipe.

Google chaff and hundreds of recipe variations pop up, including versions with more than a handful of ingredients including almond flour and other grain substitutes. I played around with the original basic recipe, keeping it simple.

Consider the chaffle as a canvas on which to build a meal.

As with any limited ingredient recipe, the quality of those ingredients is important. The cheeses can vary, but mozzarella is recommended because the flavor is so mild that it is practically neutral. I also had a big hit with Monterey Jack for BLT chaffle sandwiches with guacamole.

I tried recipes using packaged shredded cheese in a batch and block cheese that I shredded on a box grater on a second try. The former usually has a natural anti-caking ingredient that affects meltability, making it less than ideal for cheeses and cheese sauces.

The body of both cheeses in a chaffle held up, but the packaged shredded mozzarella had a little more structure and created a browner color that was more appealing to the eye.

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Chaffles work well for a sandwich. If you eat them like a traditional breakfast waffle, don’t expect to cut them easily with the sides of the fork tines. Chaffles don’t give under that kind of pressure like a waffle on bread. You will need a knife to cut.

I also tried how to reheat a chaffle. If you’re going to go to the trouble of pulling out the waffle maker, you might as well make more for later meals.

Whether the chaffles were stored in the refrigerator or freezer, they returned to crisp when reheated in the toaster. I would not recommend reheating chaffles in the microwave.

I also tried the alternative of cooking the batter in a pan instead of a waffle maker. The mixture cooks, but is thinner than a waffle and more flexible. The honeycomb structure seems to enhance the body of a chaffle, so a waffle maker is recommended.

What follows is a basic recipe, with options to make it sweet or savory. The batter may be a little more than it takes to make two waffles, depending on the waffle maker. Be careful not to overfill the machine, or the dough could spill out and fall on the counter.

Chaffles are not a perfect substitute for bread, but they are fun and a way to break the monotonous eating routine. Making them is like playing with your food, but you get healthy benefits.

Share your favorite recipes or food-related historical memories by emailing Laura Gutschke at [email protected]

Laura Gutschke is a general assignment reporter and food columnist who manages online content for Reporter-News. If she appreciates local news, she can support local journalists with a digital subscription to

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