Lagana is a Greek flatbread with sesame that's traditionally eaten on the Clean Monday. The first day of the Greek Lent which lasts 40 days till Easter. It's the ideal bread to serve along with all the foods that are usually cooked that day including Fasolatha (White Bean & Tomato Soup), Tarama (Carp Roe Dip), seafood dishes like octopus, as well as Greek Halva.
In other words, it's the ideal bread for dipping. It's so flavorful and a bit more crunchy then classic bread since it's missing a big part of the soft inside, giving place to a crunchy sesame coated crust.
And if you want to enjoy this bread other then as a lenten food, you can serve it along with one of these traditional Greek Dips:
- Skordalia - Greek Potato & Garlic Dip
- Melitzanosalata - Eggplant Dip
- Tirokafteri - Spicy Cheese Dip
How is Lagana Made
First, you mix the yeast along with some lukewarm water, sugar, and all-purpose flour. You let this mixture rest for 15 minutes to activate the yeast. Mix the salt into the bread flour. Then start to incorporate the bread flour by kneading the mixture by hand. Add a tablespoon of olive oil as well (use sunflower oil if fasting for lent). Knead the dough for 5 minutes folding it inwards like you do when making bread. Once the dough feels soft and elastic, cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature to rise for about 1 hour and a half. And finally, bake in a well-preheated oven.
All in all, Lagana is a flavorful and pretty easy bread you can make and enjoy with almost any food!
Lagana - Greek Flatbread With Sesame
- 350 grams / 12.3 oz bread flour
- 250 grams / 8.8 oz all purpose flour
- 350 ml tepid water
- 10 grams / 0.35 oz dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or sunflower oil)
- sesame (for adding on top)
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, the tepid water, the sugar, and yeast. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 15 minutes for the yeast to activate.
- Mix together the bread flour and salt. Then slowly incorporate into the yeast mixture, kneading with your hands.
- Add the olive oil and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes by folding it inwards. Once the dough is soft and elastic, set aside and cover the bowl with a tea towel. It takes about 1 and a half hour to double in size at a room temperature of around 20°C / 68°F.
- Preheat oven to 220°C / 428°F on electric stove 200°C / 392°F on gas stove.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, press it with your hands to remove the air. Grease a large sheet pan with oil. Give the dough a round shape and place in the pan. Press it with your hands to flatten it down to 1 cm thick (0.4 inch).
- Gently brush the dough with a bit of water and sprinkle with plenty of sesame.
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