Lagana bread consumed in 'Czydzi poniedziałek' is a specific flat bread with the addition of sesame seeds, reminiscent of Italian Foccacia. Such a statement would probably be perceived by many Greek as a culinary provocation, because it is known that almost everything related to the culture of Europe and its heritage originated in Greece. And probably this time, the proud Greek will be right, because the mention of this bread appears already about 400 years BC in Greek plays created by the ancient writers Horace and Aristophanes. At the time, the Greeks ate unleavened bread called laganon, which was probably the ancestor of the present lagana bread and the Italian foccacia. Currently, the tradition of eating this bread refers directly to the history of the Isrealites fleeing from Egypt and the bread they eat.
The tradition of baking lagana bread is still strongly cultivated in Greece and Cyprus. Although many housewives still prepare bread themselves, the vast majority of Greeks buy lagana at local bakeries, which start the production of this bread the evening before Pure Monday. Although in larger cities the sale of this bread begins even at night, it is no surprise to the gigantic queue, which in the morning set up under the best bakeries.
Below we present to you one of the recipes that allow you to prepare Lagana bread yourself. By digging the resources of websites available on the Internet you will probably meet with a lot of descriptions that differ in the way you prepare the dough and the ingredients used. Our recipe is one of simpler and less involving.
1. Pour a glass of warm water into a small dish, and then dissolve the measured amount of sugar in it. Add a tablespoon of flour and dry yeast to the prepared solution. The resulting leaven, after thorough mixing, set aside until a clear layer of foam forms on the surface (if the foam does not appear, then probably your yeast is too old - use other).
2. Add a flour and salt to a large dish that will serve you to make the dough. Mix thoroughly, and then in the central part make a small hollow to which you pour the right amount of oil. Mix whole with your hand until the dough is smooth without any clumps.
3. Add the yeast leaven to the mixed ingredients. Stir the whole with a wooden spoon until a smooth, smooth consistency is obtained.
4. Put the finished dough on the pastry board, sprinkled with flour and knead until it is elastic and stops sticking to the hand. Remember to gradually sprinkle the dough with flour over the kneading process.
5. Form a ball from the prepared cake, and then spread the entire surface with oil. Put them in a bowl and cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise (the dough should more or less double its volume).
6. In order to speed up the rise of dough, I suggest you to use the old Greek trick I've spotted on one of the culinary pages. To make the dough grow quickly like "on yeast", a bowl covered with a clean cloth can be put into the oven, in which on the bottom shelf, insert a flat dish filled with about 1.5 liters of hot water (can be boiling water). Close the door and check once in a while to see if the dough has already increased its volume. I recommend this way, I checked it personally and actually works :).
7. Once properly rise, put the dough back on the dough and knead it for another 6-7 minutes.
8. From the finished dough, form one or two patches with an elliptical shape. Thoroughly coat with olive oil, top with sesame seeds and then put into flat forms that you will use for baking. Leave to rise again. If you want to use a previously used oven, remove the vessel from the water and wipe the condensed water vapor from the walls.
9. Using your fingers on the entire surface of the dough, make a dozen depressions. Put the molds with the prepared dough in the oven preheated to 200'C. Baking depending on the oven and the thickness of the dough takes about 15 to 25 minutes.
Lagana bread is best eaten with oil and a pinch of salt.
We all know delicious pita breads, which freshly made and still warm, are a fantastic addition to many dishes. Although usually associated mainly with Arabic cuisine, it is quite often also found in Greece. The easiest way to find them is in places where street food is sold. Pita bread is especially popular as an addition to gyros, or falafels known in Greece under the name Revithokeftedes.
Looking from the perspective of what bread can be bought in our stores, the growing popularity of self-baked bread ceases to amaze and be treated as a temporary fashion. It is precisely for these people that we have a surprise today in the form of a recipe for Greek bread with the addition of feta cheese. It is a very tasty and delicate bread suitable for everyday breakfasts.
Today, we will offer you an independent baking of Eliopsomo bread, in which olives are used as one of the main additives. In the bread you see in the pictures below, we used green olives. Of course, you can alternatively use black olives, just choose those that taste you more.