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Lagana, a Greek flatbread for Lent

2 min read

greek bread and kalamata olives

Today is Kathara Deftera (meaning Clean Monday in Greek!), which marks the beginning of a forty-day period of Lent. Families and friends are gathering to eat, fly kites and enjoy nature, even in the big cities.The traditional meal of the day: taramosalata (fish roe), olives and lots of lagana.

Lagána is a type of Greek flatbread, made on the first day of Lent, and topped with lots of sesame seed. Greeks buy it at their local bakery but, if you're abroad like us, here is a recipe you can try for an authentic taste of Kathará Deftêra. We found it on Akis Petretzikis' popular blog and have made it a few times over the years. The recipe is very easy but you'll need a bit of time between every step for the dough to rise properly.

Lagana traditional Greek Clean Monday bread


4 cups of bread flour

1 1/2 cups water, at room temperature

2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (1 envelope)

1 pinch sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the glaze

2 tablespoons water, at room temperature

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

sesame seeds


In a big bowl, add the water, yeast and sugar and whisk well. Set aside for 15 minutes until the mixture is bubbly, which means the yeast is active.

In the same bowl, add your flour, salt and olive oil and mix with your hands until the dough is formed. 

Coat another bowl with olive oil, then transfer your dough and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for 45 minutes to rest.

Wet your hands with some warm water and gently knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover again and set aside until it doubles in size (60 to 90 minutes).

After it has doubled, turn the dough out of the bowl onto parchment paper and divide it in half. Dust each half with flour and gently roll it out directly on the parchment paper into your desired shape. Transfer the bread with the parchment paper onto a baking tray. Repeat for the other half. 

To make the glaze, combine the water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Brush the mixture over both flatbreads and sprinkle with a generous amount of sesame seeds over the top.

Set them aside for 20-30 minutes, so they can rise again. Preheat your oven to 450°F.

Before putting them in the over, use your index finger to make indentations all over the dough. This gives the “lagana” its characteristic appearance.Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Make sure your oven is properly preheated so that the flatbread can turn out as crunchy as possible.

Serve with olive oil, dips and Kalamata olives.

Enjoy and let us know if you make this recipe!

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