Food & Wine

Lagana

Lagana (Λαγάνα) is an ancient Greek flatbread traditionally baked for Clean Monday (Καθαρα’ Δευτερα) –  the first day of the Great Lent. (Clean Monday actually refers to the abstention from sinful attitudes and non-fasting food ). Traditionally, it was prepared unleavened (without the yeast),  like those mentioned in the Old Testament, but leavened lagana is nowadays more common. It is typically flat, oval-shaped, with surface decorated by impressing fingertips.

Sesame seeds are a common topping, and it may also be topped with other herbs, and seasoned with olive oil.  Linguistically, the word lagana comes from the Greek word “ laganon” (in ancient Greek: λάγανον),  which is also the origin of the Italian word lasagna.

Lagana is never cut with a knife but rather broken apart, because iron, the stuff of knife-making long ago, was believed to contain the powers of evil.

17-dolci29

 

Ingredients:

  • 500 g hard flour (bread flour)
  • 350 ml water, at room temperature
  • 10 g dry yeast
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 10 g salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For coating

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • sesame seeds

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 220° C (446° F)
  • Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a mixer’s bowl.
  • Set it aside for 15-20 minutes so the yeast can activate.
  • Add the flour, salt and olive oil.
  • Knead by hand  for at least 10 min.
  • When ready,  transfer  the dough to a bowl.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1-2 hours, until it doubles in size.
  • Punch down the dough and divide it in to 2 equal halves.
  • Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on to a working surface.
  • Add your dough, dust with some flour and roll out. If it is too difficult to roll out, dust with some more flour.
  • Form 2 flat oval loaves
  • Transfer to a baking pan along with the parchment. Simply lift the edges of the parchment and transfer.
  • Repeat the exact same process for the other half of the dough.
  • To make the coating, combine the water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Brush coating over both flatbreads and sprinkle with a generous amount of sesame seeds over the top.
  • Set them aside for 20 minutes, so they can rise again.
  • When they have risen, use your index finger to make indentations all over the dough. This gives the “lagana” its characteristic appearance.
  • Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes. Make sure your oven is properly preheated so that the flatbread can turn out as crunchy as possible.
  • When golden and crunchy, remove from oven and serve it in the traditional Greek manner with Taramosalata (Fish Roe Dip), Potato Garlic Mash and Kalamata olives.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s