Today is a very significant day in Greece as it’s Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) and the start of Sarakosti, the Great Lent period before Greek Easter.

Kathara Deftera marks the beginning of abstaining from all meat, dairy, fish, and eggs. The traditional foods for today are calamari, octopus, prawns, olives, taramosalata, skordalia, and Lagana, which is a specially-made flat bread; that is only consumed on Clean Monday. With a sesame seed crust and a soft, airy inside, this recipe includes olive oil, however, those observing a strict fast can omit the oil. 

The quantities below are for four large loaves- halve or double if you would like to make less/more. 

Kali Sarakosti! 

Ingredients

– 1 kilo of all-purpose flour

– 18 grams dry yeast

– 1 tablespoon salt

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 tablespoon sugar

– sesame seeds for sprinkling

– 700 grams of lukewarm water

Method

– Place the flour, yeast, and sugar in a big bowl and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

– Make a well in the centre and place olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly with your hands.

– Add the third cup slowly and kneed mixture with your hands, until it becomes a smooth-like dough.

– Shape the dough into a ball, brush it lightly with olive oil and allow it to rise in a covered bowl for about 40 minutes.

– When ready, place the dough on your workbench, dusted with flour, and knead the dough again for another 5 minutes.

– Cut into 4 pieces.

– Place on lightly oiled baking sheets and shape into rectangular or oval loaves.

– Place on a baking tray and brush lightly with olive oil.

– Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

– Place in 200 degrees C oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Recipe and Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Penny Zalalas
Penny Zalalas

Executive Editor

At the age of 18, when starting her university degree in Media & Culture, Penny was offered her first role in the industry and began her career at Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited. Since then she has worked as a journalist & editor in both print & online publications, bringing with her 20 + years of experience in magazines. Her utter love for Greece, plus a constant urge to create, innovate & inspire is what led her to launch IN+SIGHTS GREECE.

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