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Lagana Flatbread with Olives & Rosemary

Lagana Flatbread with Olives & Rosemary

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Lagana flatbread is traditionally prepared and consumed in Greece, especially during a particular day of the year known as Clean Monday or “Kathara Deftera.”   

Clean Monday marks the beginning of Lent in the Eastern Orthodox Christian calendar, a period of fasting and abstinence leading up to Easter.

Greek lagana is a simple unleavened bread, often flavored with olive oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It is typically enjoyed with various accompaniments such as olives, vegetables, and dips. The tradition of making and eating lagana on Clean Monday has deep cultural and religious significance in Greece.

Classic Greek Lagana image
Classic Lagana

The recipe for lagana may vary slightly depending on regional preferences, but it generally involves basic ingredients like flour, water, olive oil, and salt. The bread is rolled out into a thin sheet, scored, and then baked until it becomes golden brown.

This year I wanted to make something different from the classic Lagana so I made it with olives and rosemary.

Lagana with olives picture

I prepared the dough from the previous day so that I could bake it early in the morning.  You can bake it the same day if you like after the bread rises but I find that it tastes better if it rises overnight in the fridge.

This Lagana is inspired by Cypriot Elioti, which is an olive bread.

collage Lagana with olives image

Lagana Flatbread with Olives & Rosemary, Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  20 minutes
Rising time: about 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator
Baking time:  about 25 minutes
Makes: 2 flatbreads

For the Dough:

1 kilo bread flour
32 grams fresh yeast (or 16 grams instant yeast)
1 tbsp demerera sugar or crystal sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons flour
Lukewarm water (about ¼ cup)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
250 ml (about 1 cup) fresh orange juice (optional or add more water)
250 ml (about 1 cup water)

For the filling:

500 grams throumbes (or kalamata) olives, pitted
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 – 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 – 4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp citrus zest
2 tbsp dried mint
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Salt at will, as olives are salty


  1. In a bowl put the yeast, sugar and water and mix to dissolve the yeast.   Add the flour and mix to make a batter.  Cover with cling film and set aside until it doubles in volume.
  2. In the mixer bowl attach the hook.  Add the remaining flour, salt, olive oil and yeast.  Mix to combine and then add all the orange juice.   Gradually add the water until the dough is ready and does not stick to the bowl. If it is sticky, add some more flour.
  3. Meantime prepare all the remaining ingredients and add to the dough and mix with the hook.  The olives will not be all incorporated in the dough, so transfer it back into a bowl and mix by hand.  Cover with cling film and set aside until it doubles in volume.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator and set aside to come to room temperature.
  5. Grease a large baking tin with olive oil.  Wet your hands with olive oil and divide the dough into two equal parts.  Press it with your greased hands to flatten it about 2 cm high shaping it oval. Make depressions, with fingers about 2 inches apart, into dough or press it with a fork.   Finally  sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Cover the bread again and let it rise in a warm place.
  7. Preheat oven to 200°C/ 400°F and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.
Lagana with Olives image

Update 23/02/2015:

Today is Kathara Deftera (clean Monday) and it’s been raining all day, so we are not going out.  Since we will be staying home I decided to make some “Lagana” flat-bread.  I made the dough as above, using 1 kilo flour.  I divided the dough into two pieces and with half of it I made the classic flat-bread.

Lagana ready to rise

In the other half, I added one cup of Koroneikes oives, 2 spring onions, finely chopped with part of the green leaves on and a sprig of fresh rosemary (only the leaves).

Koroneikes olives

Koroneikes, is the most common variety of olives used for the production of olive oil.

Lagana with Koroneikes

Cover the “laganes” with cling film brushed with olive oil, then cover them with a napkin or a tabecloth and set aside in a warm place to rise.

lagana rising

Bake in a preheated fan forced oven to 200 degrees Centigrade for about 20 minutes.   As soon as the top has browned on top, switch the baking tins, so that the other one will brown as well.

baking tin with water

Today I tried baking the “laganes” with some steam.  When preheating the oven, I added a baking tin with water, which I left inside during the baking.  In the reflection of the oven you can see the baking tins covered with a tablecloth.

Baking Lagana

They turned out perfect, with a crunchy crust.

Happy Lent!

Lagana baked

You can find more of my Lenten Recipes (most of them are vegan) here.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!

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Thursday 10th of March 2011

Interesting lagana variation. I never tried something similar. We usually eat the plain ones. Thanks for sharing!

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