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Lagana flatbread

Lagana flatbread

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Lagana (in Greek λαγάνα, pronounced lah-GHAH-nah) is a traditional Greek flatbread, which is made with flour, yeast, salt, water and sesame seeds.

Originally it was an unleavened bread but eventually some yeast was added.

This bread sees the light of day once a year, on the first day of the Greek Orthodox Lent, known as Clean or Green or Shrove Monday.

The name comes from laganon, a thin broad cake, of meal and water. The Romans called it “lasanum”, which is also the origin of the word lasagna, also known as tracta, from Ancient Greek τρακτὸς.

This traditional Greek bread is made dairy free as it is used for fasting and hence it is a great vegan flatbread.

If you are new to baking, I would absolutely recommend trying this recipe out. It is one of the easiest bread recipes and a great way to make friends with yeast.

The procedure is very straight forward with very basic ingredients. It’s shaped like a rectangle with rounded corners, and is a fairly flat loaf.

Make the dough, let it rise, put it on your work space and stretch. Then the bread is baked and served.

The bread tastes great by itself or served with the other Lenten food such as taramosalata, olives, halvas, etc.

I really cannot understand why it is not made year around, as everybody is crazy about this bread.

Try it also by adding other ingredients in it. I’ve made it into an olive flatbread or with olives and sundried tomatoes.

PROCEDURE TO MAKE LAGANA BREAD

TO MAKE THE DOUGH:

  • In a bowl, combine the yeast, 1/4 cup flour, sugar and lukewarm water. Mix it well and let the yeast proof for about 5 to 10 minutes. The yeast mixture would be very bubbly at the end of the 10 minutes. If not, the yeast might have become inactive. Discard this mixture and start with a fresh batch of yeast.
  • I made the dough in my stand mixer but if you don’t have one you can make it by hand. Add the flour, salt and olive oil to the bowl. Mix it a bit and then add the yeast mixture to the bowl as well as some lukewarm water.
  • Knead the dough until it is very soft and not sticky. The dough will be on the softer side, but should not be sticky. Add more liquid or flour to get to the right consistency.
  • Wet the dough with some olive oil, cover it with plastic wrap and then with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place to rise. The time will depend on the room temperature.

TO SHAPE THE LAGANA AND BAKE  

I made all the preparation from the previous day, so I left the dough in the fridge overnight and baked them in the morning.

If you want to prepare and bake them on the same day, you will need to bake them after the dough rises.  

You can prepare the dough using a stand mixer or by hand.

I made the dough and after dividing it into two pieces, I made the classic lagana first.   

  • Punch the proofed dough gently and divide it into two pieces.  Place half of it on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or you can grease your baking tin.
  • Using your hand, stretch the dough and spread it all across the pan.  Try to keep it evenly thick.
  • Let the dough rest for about 30 to 40 minutes covered or until it rises again.
  • Once the dough is ready, using your fingertips, poke some holes across the surface of the Lagana bread.   (I usually use the stick of a wooden spoon as I have long nails and it’s not convenient. I have also used a wooden souvlaki skewer to do smaller holes).
Classic Greek lagana image

In the second piece of dough, I added some pitted koroneikes olives, 2 spring onions with part of the green leaves, some sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary.   

Koroneikes olives image

The Koroneiki is an olive cultivar from Greece primarily used in olive oil production.

Lagana with Koroneikes image

Brush with olive oil or sugar water and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

lagana rising image

I baked them in a convection oven to 200o C / 400o F for about 20 minutes.  As soon as the top one started browning, I swapped the baking trays.   

Baking tin with water and reflection image

While preheating the oven, I added a baking tin filled with water to boil and make steam.  I left it inside until the flatbreads were baked.

In the picture you can see the reflection of the baking trays covered with tea towels, while rising.     

Baking both Laganas image

They were perfect with a delicious  crunchy crust and their texture are light and airy.

The first one can be eaten as regular bread or even sandwiched. 

The second one can accompany a meal but also eaten as a snack!   

Lagana baked and cut image
Classic Greek Lagana image

Lagana Flatbread

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Lagana (in Greek λαγάνα, pronounced lah-GHAH-nah) is a traditional Greek flatbread, which is made with flour, yeast, salt and water.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams bread flour
  • 1 sachet (8 - 10 grams) dried yeast or 16 grams fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • About 1 cup lukewarm water

For sugar coating:

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the yeast, ¼ cup flour, sugar and lukewarm water. Mix it well and let the yeast proof for about 5 to 10 minutes.  
  2. Add the remaining flour, salt and olive oil to the mixer bowl and attach the hook. Mix it a bit and then add the yeast mixture.
  3. Knead the dough until it is very soft and not sticky.  
  4. Add a tablespoon olive oil and grease the dough. Cover it with plastic wrap and then with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm place until it doubles in volume.
  5. Punch the proofed dough gently and divide it into two pieces.  Place half of it on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or you can grease your baking tin.
  6. Using your hand, stretch the dough and spread it all across the pan until it becomes 2 cm thick.  Try to keep it evenly thick.
  7. Let the dough rise again covered, until it rises again.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200o C / 400o F.
  9. Once the dough is ready, using your fingertips, poke some holes across the surface of the Lagana bread.  
  10. Brush the top with olive oil or sugar water and then sprinkle the sesame seeds.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or
    until the bread is golden brown.
  12. Serve with your favourite Lenten food.
Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1142Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1179mgCarbohydrates 191gFiber 9gSugar 5gProtein 34g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Below are some of my Lenten Recipes:

Lenten Recipes

Greek Orthdox Lenten Recipes are mostly vegan.

PIN FOR LATER

Collaage Lagana flatbread image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

signature Ivy

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elly

Wednesday 27th of August 2008

Yum! Beautiful bread!

Susan/Wild Yeast

Wednesday 27th of August 2008

I always love a bread that keeps well for several days. These look just beautiful!

Rosie

Wednesday 27th of August 2008

This really looks SO good Ivy!!

Rosie x

Bellini Valli

Wednesday 27th of August 2008

What a beautiful loaf sis..bread to me is beautiful and makes the whole house smell heavenly:D

Ivy

Wednesday 27th of August 2008

Thanks Peter. So many things you can make with Kalamata olives.

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