Don’t you want a bite of that right now? Lagana is basically the Greek version of focaccia — both are flat breads baked with olive oil. Focaccia is usually soft throughout but lagana has a crunchy crust with a soft center. Lagana was a special treat in our house when we were growing up. Yiayia baked bread almost every week, and if we were lucky she would save some of the dough to make a pan of lagana that would be devoured in minutes. It is insanely good, especially if you use high quality olive oil. We are lucky to receive a steady supply of amazing olive oil from our family’s village of Krokees, and that is what we used here. To make lagana, follow the basic instructions for Yiayia’s Bread. We have adjusted the ingredients in the recipe below to make enough dough for one pan of lagana.  If you don’t have the time, energy or desire to make your own dough you could use ready-made pizza dough. It won’t be as delicious as the homemade version, but it will still taste pretty great. 

DSC_0140_2Coat a shallow pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

DSC_0145_2Add dough to the pan and stretch it gently with your hands…

DSC_0146_2until it looks like this.

DSC_0153_2Score the dough before baking, drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.  Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. Poke a hole in each square with a toothpick and place in a COLD oven. Set the oven to 450. When the oven reaches 450 continue baking the lagana for about 25 minutes or until it is golden brown.

DSC_0188_2Slice and enjoy.  Trust us, it won’t last long.

Lagana makes 1 large lagana or about 35 square pieces
Source: Athena Merianos and Toula Costopoulos
This is the same basic recipe as YiaYia’s Bread, but adjusted to make a smaller amount of dough.  This will make one large lagana. You could also use ready-made pizza dough.
5 cups unbleached white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon yeast
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup water
2 T good quality olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Follow the instructions for YiaYia’s Bread found here. After the dough has risen twice (or if you are using ready-made pizza dough) proceed with the instructions below.

Spread about 1 T of olive oil onto the bottom of a 12×17 pan. You could use a jelly roll pan or other shallow baking pan with sides. Place the dough in the center of the pan and use your hands to gently and evenly spread the dough out to the sides of the pan. Score the dough (cut lightly, not all the way through) into squares .

Drizzle the top of the dough with olive oil and spread the oil over the dough with your hands. Sprinkle the dough with sea salt or kosher salt to taste. Cover the prepared dough with plastic wrap followed by a clean towel and let sit for approximately 30 minutes so the dough can rise one more time.

Poke each square with a toothpick. Set your oven to 450 and place the prepared pan into the cold oven. Do NOT preheat the oven. When the oven temperature reaches 450, bake for an additional 25 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

© kouzina cousins. 2014.



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