Lagana Bread - A recipe for Clean Monday's start to Lent

Lagana is very reminiscent of foccacia, another flat bread. The Lagana is a bread that’s traditionally baked for consumption on the first day of Greek Lent, Clean Monday.The Lagana is very easy to make and if you mix a batch of dough this evening or start tomorrow evening, you can have home-baked Lagana for Καθαρή Δευτέρα (Clean Monday).

The dough recipe is a riff on the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes master recipe and the dough is easy, forming the Laganes are simple and the result? Delicious.

The traditional topping for Lagana are sesame seeds. Now’s not the time for recipe twists.

Lagana (λαγάνα)

(makes 2)

baking sheet covered with parchment paper

2 tsp. of active dry yeast

1 tsp. of sugar

1 1sp. of coarse sea salt

1 1/2  cups of room temperature water

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Sesame seeds

Pre-heated 375F oven

  1. In a largebowl, add your luke-warm water, yeast and sugar and stir to mix. Allow the yeast a few minutes to activate. Now add the flour and the salt and mix thoroughly with a heavy wooden spoon. You may also use your bread mixing attachment on your Kitchenaid (or whatever brand you have). If the dough mixture still looks to dry, add some more water in increments.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size. min. You may do this step just before bedtime too!
  3. Take the wrap off the bowl, treat your hands with some flour, punch the dough down and empty onto your work surface. Divide the dough into two.
  4. Using your hands (treat with flour), form your Laganes (should be rectangular shaped  with rounded ends) with your fingers. Pinch, rotate and let gravity help you form the shape. Place each piece of dough on your parchment-covered baking sheet ( 2 Laganes to each tray) and continue to form the Lagana by stretching it into shape.
  5. Allow the dough to rest and rise again for another 45-60 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 375F oven (middle rack). Sprinkle each Lagana with sesame seeds.
  6. Fifteen minutes before baking,  using your fingertips, poke-down each Lagana to deflate and make indents. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to…well, cool.

For more delicious recipes visit Peter Minaki's blog at