LAGANA – CLEAN MONDAY SESAME FLATBREAD
Lagana is a Greek Flatbread traditionally baked for Clean Monday, the first day of the Great Lent.
It is typically flat, oval-shaped, with surface decorated by impressing fingertips.
Sesame seeds are a common topping, and it may also be topped with other herbs, and seasoned with Olive oil.
* 500 g hard flour (bread flour)
* 350 ml water, at room temperature
* 10 g dry yeast
* pinch of granulated sugar
* 10 g salt
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 220* C (446* F) Fan.
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a mixer’s bowl.
Set it aside for 15-20 minutes so the yeast can activate.
Add the flour, salt and olive oil.
Place bowl on mixing stand and beat for 5-10 minutes using the hook attachment. Begin by beating on low speed and gradually turn up the speed.
The more you beat the hard flour, the more soft and elastic your dough will become. If you don’t have a mixer, knead by hand for at least 10 minutes.
When ready, remove dough from mixer and transfer to a bowl. Dust your hands with some flour so that the dough won’t stick to them.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1-2 hours, until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough and divide it in to 2 equal halves.
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on to a working surface.
Add your dough, dust with some flour and roll out. If it is too difficult to roll out, dust with some more flour.
Roll out to any size or shape you like.
Transfer to a baking pan along with the parchment. Simply lift the edges of the parchment and transfer.
Repeat the exact same process for the other half of the dough.
To make the coating, combine the water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
Brush coating over both flatbreads and sprinkle with a generous amount of sesame seeds over the top.
Set them aside for 20 minutes, so they can rise again.
When they have risen, 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.
When golden and crunchy, remove from oven and serve it in the traditional Greek manner… with Taramosalata (Fish Roe Dip), Potato Garlic Mash and Kalamata olives!
Recipe adapted from A. Petretzikis
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