Added by Despina33 | Sun 14 Feb 2010 @ 20:22
In Greek: λαγάνα, pronounce lah-GHAH-nah
This bread sees the light of day once a year, on the first day of the Greek Orthodox Lent, known as Clean Monday. It was originally an unleavened bread but, over the years, a little yeast has crept into the recipes. It\'s most often shaped like a rectangle with rounded corners, and is a fairly flat loaf. The choice of oil depends on how closely Lenten restrictions are observed.
4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons of dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup lukewarm water
FOR THE TOPPING
vegetable or olive oil
4-5 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
a few black sesame seeds
Prep Time: 1 hours
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Sprinkle the yeast in 1 cup of warm water. Leave it for 30 minutes until it foams. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast-water mix and oil. With hands or a wooden spoon, mix to create a cohesive dough.. If needed, add a little more warm water.
On a floured surface, knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the hands and is soft and malleable. Form into three flat loaves, round or rectangular, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch high. Place on cookie sheets, cover with a towel, and allow to sit until doubled in height, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).
Poke the loaves in several places with fingers, brush lightly with oil, and sprinkle with sesame seeds (approximately 1 tablespoon per loaf).
Bake at 355°F (180°C) for 30-40 minutes, until golden.
Serve lagana the same day they are made, as they harden quickly. If not planning to eat immediately, cool completely, wrap in airtight plastic, and freeze. They will keep well in the freezer for several months.