Today has been bread making day in my kitchen.
This is lagana. It is a traditional flatbread that we eat on “Kathara Deutera”, called Clean Monday. You might call it Ash Monday, as the Catholic equivalent to this is Ash Wednesday.
We enter the Lenten period leading up to Easter joyously. This day (tomorrow) is a national holiday in Greece. Families picnic, fly kites, eat meals appropriate for the Lenten fast. This bread is part of that tradition & it is my first time making it. Especially since in Los Angeles, you really can’t find it!
I watched a few different videos of Greek chefs making this bread. I used a mixture of both Argiro Barbarigou & Akis Petretzikis recipes & techniques. The recipes across the board for this bread were all the same. They came out beautifully! I basically converted the measurements from grans to cups, and so forth.
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup of warm water
1 packet of yeast
2 tsp sugar
I tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt 1/4 cup sesame seeds
A tsp of sugar & a little warm water to brush on it before adding the sesame seeds.
Mix the flour & salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk together the warm water, sugar, olive oil & yeast in a small bowl.
When the yeast has created a froth, then you can add it to the flour. Bring that together with a wooden spoon. Add that into your mixer with a dough hook and let it knead it for you until the dough becomes elastic. Place that into a well oiled bowl. Cover that with plastic wrap & a kitchen towel. Set it in a warm place for an hour or so.
When it has doubled in size, poke the dough to deflate it & divide in into two pieces.
Using your finger tips, spread out the dough into a rustic flatbread shape onto a parchment lined pan. Your fingers make the indentations. Once you have stretched it out onto the pan & have done the same to the second one, gently brush a little sugar water on them. Then sprinkle a generous amount of sesame seeds on them. Press them onto the dough. Place it in the turned off oven to continue to rise a bit more for another 30 minutes. You place them in there so that the draft doesn’t dry them them.
Remove them from the cold oven and turn that up to 400 F. While that is warming up, press more indentations with your finger tips in the dough, which has risen one more time. Drizzle a light amount of olive oil across the tops.
Bake them for 30 minutes. Right before you take them out, spritz them with water. This adds shine.
Enjoy them however you desire!