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Lagana Recipe: Traditional Greek Clean Monday Bread

With Clean Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα) being around the corner, this is the right time to try this lagana recipe. Clean Monday, a moveable holiday always forty-eight days prior to Easter Sunday, is the first day of Orthodox Lent. This is a public holiday in Greece and people usually go out for a picnic and fly a kite. As we always like to have special Greek food for any occasion, Clean Monday could not be the exception to the rule. There are a number of Greek foods that people traditionally start eating on that day like taramosalata, gigantes, kalamarakia, halva, and of course lagana. Lagana (λαγάνα in Greek) is a flatbread traditionally baked for Clean Monday. And of course, it is eaten only on that day! Believe it or not, lagana was an ancient Greek food as there are references to it in ancient Greek texts! This lagana recipe is really delicious and I clearly don’t see why this should be eaten only once a year! When you try it, you will see that I am right! This lagana recipe will give you around 2 pieces depending on how big you make them.

Lagana Recipe

Lagana Recipe – Ingredients

  • 20g. fresh yeast or 2 tsp yeast powder
  • 1/2 cup of  hot water (40 °) + 2 cups
  • 1 kg of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teacup of sweet wine
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek olive oil plus some extra for greasing the bowl
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Some sesame for topping

Lagana Recipe – Instructions

  1. Start this lagana recipe by boil the anise with water for around 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Allow it to become lukewarm and remove the anise from the water.
  3. Take a bowl and sift the flour.
  4. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the flour.
  5. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add the oil and the wine.
  6. Begin to knead and slowly add the lukewarm water.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with some salt. Now, place the dough on a clean counter and knead vigorously for around 5 minutes. Put the bowl in the bowl and cover it with a towel. Allow dough to rise and double in volume for about 60 mins.
  8. When doubled in size, divide the dough into two parts. Their thickness should be bigger than a finger.
  9. Take a baking pan and cover it with some parchment paper and place the laganas. Press with your fingers a little to make hollows.
  10. Cover again the laganas with a clean towel for around 20 minutes.
  11. Preheated oven to 338°F (170° C).
  12. Sprinkle with some water and sesame seeds.
  13. Bake the lagana for about 45 until it becomes nicely brown and crispy.

I hope you like this lagana recipe as much as my family does. Stay tuned for more traditional Greek recipes. Kali Sarakosti!

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