Wholly Healthy Momma

A site meant to share healthy versions of delicious food so that more people can enjoy living a healthier lifestyle!

Um Ali – Egyptian bread pudding and Puff Pastry

We often feed the missionaries for our church… When we fed them a few weeks ago my husband began bragging that I make foods from many different cultures and asked them if there was anything they wanted us to make for them when they came again.  This is a typical question for us to ask but it is rare to get any particular requests.  This time, however was different.  One of the sisters responded that she loves a particular desert that she had eaten while growing up in Saudi Arabia.  I will admit that I was a little nervous as I had no clue what I was getting into… but I was up for the challenge and found a recipe on line, which, of course, had to be fixed so that I could eat it too (find the original and read about it’s interesting history at http://honestcooking.com/um-ali-egyptian-bread-pudding/ ).  And set to work… It turned out to be really quite simple and tasted great – and of course was approved by the most important critic, our missionary sister, who said it was exactly what she remembered and seemed to enjoy it very much.  In addition, I had to learn how to make whole wheat puff pastry in order to make this dish, which is something I have wanted to try but has seemed very intimidating to me in the past.  I was surprised to find that it was actually quite simple and turned out really good!  We even got a bonus desert out of the deal – Pain au chocolat- because I had to see how the puff pastry turned out before I could serve it to a guest.  These came out fabulous as well and were gone WAY too quickly!
Um Ali - Egyptian Bread Pudding

Um Ali

  • 1 pack (10 small square slices) puff pastry
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  1. Take the puff pastry out of the freezer 2 hours before using them and allow to defrost
  2. preheat heat oven to 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Place the puff pastry slices on a baking sheet and then place them into the oven for 5-10 minutes (you want them to be puffed up and golden brown).
  4. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool
  5. Combine the milk, whipped cream, honey and spices in a pan and allow to come to a gentle simmer.
  6. take off the heat and add vanilla
  7. Break the puff pastry into small pieces and place half the amount in a baking dish
  8. Later the nuts raisins and coconut
  9. Top with the other half of puff pastry crumbs
  10. Slowly add the milk mixture,one ladle at a time to the dish with puff pastry and nuts until the milk fully covers the puff pastry
  11. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes so that the puff pastry absorbs some of the milk. Add milk again until it covers the puff pastry
  12. Bake on the central rack for 15 minutes at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit, until thickened and milk is absorbed into the pastry


Puff Pastry

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups cold butter

1/4 cup cold water

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Roughly break the butter in small chunks, add them to the bowl and rub them in loosely. You need to see bits of butter.
  2. Make a well in the bowl and pour in the cold water, mixing until you have a firm rough dough adding extra water if needed. Cover with Saran Wrap and put in fridge for 20 min.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently and form into a smooth rectangle. Roll the dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width.  Don’t overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
  4. Fold the top third down to the center, then the bottom third up and over that. Turn the dough a quarter turn and roll out again to three times the length. Fold as before, cover with Saran Wrap and chill for at least 20 mins.  Roll it out one last time before using.

This freezes very well.

see the original at http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2403/roughpuff-pastry-


Pain au Chocolat

Pain au Chocolat

Raspberry Pain Au Chocolat


Puff Pastry cut into approximately 5 inch squares

6 Tbsp Almond butter

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp milk

4 Tbsp raspberry all fruit jam

(optional – 1 beaten egg for brushing over the pastry to get a nice golden brown top)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the Almond butter, cocoa powder, honey and milk together to make a chocolate almond spread. Please note that all the measurements are approximate, taste it, observe it and adjust it as necessary to meet your tastes and consistency desires.
  3. Spread some of the hazelnut spread onto the center third of each square to within 1/2 inch of the outer edges. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the raspberry jam over the hazelnut spread. Fold the two outer sections over one another to enclose the filling. Press the  open edges firmly to seal. Repeat the process with the remaining squares. Use a sharp knife to cut 5 slits across the top of each pastry, and place them on baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool on racks.


we are also going to try this with a cream cheese spread and apricot jam… YUM!  So… have fun, experiment and feel free to share your ideas!


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