Today in Greece we celebrate Clean Monday. Clean Monday is a great day to be in Greece. It’s a day that for those who are religious signifies the start of the Easter fasting and for those who are not, a great chance to eat good food, enjoy nature and spend a bit of extra time with friends and family while flying a kite.
So the drill in a day such as this is that we enjoy lots of seafood such as calamari, octopus, shrimps and muscles. Of course all these are accompanied by various types of other small dishes such as pickled vegetables, taramosalata, which is a dip made by fish roe, dolma form wine leaves, olives and all kinds of other sides.
Despite the list above the reason why I love this holiday is because of the special bread that we eat during the day. It’s a flatbread with lots of sesame on top and it could be compared with the local pogaca. In the Greek case the bread is called lagana and it goes great with Sesame Halva.
So here it goes. I advise you to give it a try and try something new and maybe you’ll end up combining different styles of bread in your everyday life.
- 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
How to do it:
- 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.
*The source for this recipe was www.akispetretzikis.com I have to try the recipe at home this evening but i guarantee it will be tasty as hell.
I am also sharing a video on how to make taramosalata although I am not exactly sure that you can find fish Roe.