Lagana – Greek flatbread

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I know I am terribly late. I wrote this post on Sunday and almost a week has passed. Somedays I wake up with an urgent need to write (whatever, even a to-do list) but other days are so slow and I cannot even think about writing. Here is a recipe for the Lagana, a flat bread we bake in Greece the last Sunday of Carnival, before the “clean Monday” (aka katharì deftera). The recipe is so good that you can decide to have it even if you are not Greek or even if it is not the right period of the year. And please note that this is one of the easiest ways to bake bread at home, so don’t worry if it is the first time you try!

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I remember the first time I tasted this recipe. It was on 2007. I moved to Athens for a year for studies abroad. I was living in Plaka and after a couple of days I saw all my flatmates running to the bakes shop to buy this bread. I was curious and I asked a Dutch girl living with me what that was and we went together to buy it. I remember having it with feta cheese, an eggplant sauce called melitzanosalata (eggplant salad) and other Greek delicious food.

So here is my recipe for 2 flatbreads

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 10gr dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • extra flour for kneading
  • sesame seeds

In a small bowl mix yeast, sugar and water. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate until small bubbles will form on the surface.  Maybe it will take more than 10 minutes. Be patient and wait.

Then in another bowl mix flour and salt and add yeast once ready.  Mix well until you have a sticky dough.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and holds together in a ball or use a machine to mix it.

Place ball of dough in a large, clean bowl that has been lightly greased with olive oil and cover with clean dish towel and plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot to rise.  This will take about 2 hours. The dough will double in size.

On a floured surface, knead the risen dough a few times to deflate. Gently stretch and pat your dough into a rectangle. Use your fingertips to press small grooves in the dough.

Let the bread rest for another 30 minutes. Now lightly grease the surface with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes until it turns golden brown.

 

 

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