Kathara Deftera falls on March 7 this year.
Kathara Deftera ‘Clean Monday’ and it is the first day of Greek Orthodox Easter Lent, which lasts forty days.
Kathara Deftera is a public holiday in Greece, and traditionally most people go out for a picnic and also enjoy the custom of kite flying. All over Greece today the skies will be filled with kites of all sizes, shapes and colors and children and their parents will try to fly them as high as possible.
Kathara Deftera means no red or white meat, fish, dairy or eggs are allowed, but you can enjoy shellfish and anything that doesn’t have blood or is related to the original products animal. Traditionally, the foods eaten today in Greek households are octopus, prawns, squid, halva, taramosalata, skordalia, olives and the main one is Lagana, which is only made and eaten today today.
Lagana resembles focaccia bread and has a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior. Every bakery in Greece will sell Lagana today, but many people in Greece and the Diaspora still prefer to cook for themselves.
For those who fast the most strictly, Lagana can be made without oil, for the less strict, olive oil is used and although traditionally it is made without yeast, nowadays most people add yeast to their bread.
Here is a family recipe, which makes about 3 large loaves and 2 small ones.
Kali Sarakosti all!
– 20 grams of dry yeast
– 1.2 kg of all-purpose flour
– 1 tablespoon of salt
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 tablespoon of sugar
– sesame seeds for sprinkling
– 3 cups of lukewarm water
– Put the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
– Make a well in the center and place the olive oil, salt and 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly with your hands.
– Add the third cup slowly and knead the mixture with your hands, until it becomes a smooth dough.
– Shape the dough into a ball, brush it lightly with olive oil and let it rise in a covered bowl for about 40 minutes.
– Place the dough on your work surface, dusted with flour and knead the dough again for another 5 minutes.
– Cut into 5 pieces.
– Place on lightly oiled baking sheets and shape into rectangular or oval loaves.
– Place on a baking sheet and brush with more olive oil.
– Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
– Place in the oven at 190 degrees C and cook for 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.