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Lagana Bread



Lagana is a Greek bread, made only once a year. The bread is served in Greece on the day that marks the start of Greek Orthodox Lent, called "Clean Monday" ("Kathara Deftera".)

It is flat and about 18 inches (45 cm) long, with rounded corners. It used to be unleavened, but recipes now use a small bit of yeast.

The dough is made with flour, water, yeast and olive oil. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on top just before baking (about 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds, with a few black ones for colour, per loaf.) It is then baked at 350°F (180°C) for 30-40 minutes, until golden.

It is sold in bakeries.

Cooking Tips

It's broken (not cut), and served with dips such as Taramosaláta (a dip made of fish roe.)

Storage Hints

Lagana does not keep well; it goes hard fast. It is best eaten on the day of purchase.


It can be frozen, if it is frozen right after baking and cooling before it gets starts to get hard.

History Notes

In Ancient Greece, "laganon" was a flat bread.

Language Notes

In modern Greek: λαγάνα .


In classical Greek the word "Laganon" was neuter. When the Latin language absorbed the word, it became the Latin neuter of laganum, the plural of which is lagana.

The Romans used Laganum / Lagana to mean a sheet of dough, or a thin pancake.

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Bon mots

"Between the ages of twenty and fifty, John Doe spends some twenty thousand hours chewing and swallowing food, more than eight hundred days and nights of steady eating. The mere contemplation of this fact is upsetting enough."

-- M.F.K. Fisher (American food writer. 3 July 1908 - 22 June 1992)

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