sesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbreadsesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbread

It’s an easier and simpler method to make this Greek LAGANA flatbread (quite similar to an Italian focaccia) that is both moist and airy on the inside and crunchy on the outside and much tastier than a traditional version too ! Why ? Let me explain …

It’s a question of the dough hydration (or the ratio of the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients) and the liquids you choose to use (like using half beer instead of just water) and the oils (like sesame oil on the inside and lots of olive oil on the outside to make it crispy) and how you will knead it whether by hand or with a mixer with a dough-hook (or by using a food-processor) and does the dough really need to rise twice (once is so much easier) and of course (and this is something people often forget), the baking pan or baking dish you choose to use (like what size can it be and what material is it made of) to make it as non-stick as possible and provide the best results.

I’ve been making these flatbreads for the past 2 weeks, slightly modifying the versions each time and testing out the differences.

Let’s remember that a “lagana” flatbread starts out as a soft blob of dough (just like a focaccia) that spreads out and flattens out (with a little help) and is then poked, sprinkled and baked.

Here are my findings :

Firstly, why not mix different flours like I did with 20% whole-wheat bread flour and 80% white bread flour instead of all-purpose flour ? It creates a bread that is stretchy and chewier. And why not also play with the liquids by using a mixture of half beer and half water and using the leftover oil from your tahini sesame paste instead of just olive oil ? It’s tastier. Trust me.

Secondly, instead of kneading this sticky blob of dough by hand for 15 minutes or using your mixer with a dough hook for 10 minutes, you could use a food-processor for 2 minutes (like I did several weeks ago for my thick-crust pizza dough). It’s almost the same principle. Not kneading it by hand, implies that you can also increase the ratio of water and beer to the flour. I began with 360 grams or 1 ½ cups of beer and water and slowly, over the trials, increased it up to 390 grams or 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp. The softer more hydrated dough will be moister and fluffier and taller.

Thirdly, do you need to knead it twice with a first rise for 2-3 hours and a second rise for 45-60 minutes ? I tested it several times, side by side. The dough that was well-kneaded once and rose for 2 ½ hours was actually fluffier and as chewy as the dough that was kneaded twice.

Fourthly, Why do I add extra olive oil in the baking dish ? I do it so that the dough spreads out easily and that the dough doesn’t stick to the baking dish when it bakes. At the same time, it adds extra flavor and depth to this oh-so-humble flatbread and gives the crust a more tasty crunch.

Fifthly (is that even a word ?), the type of baking dish you use also makes a difference. Non-stick dishes are very good, enameled bakeware is excellent and the enameled drip-pan that is usually sold with your oven is the absolute best. Try oiling your baking dish well and use one that is glossy and scratch-free and as non-stick as possible with rounded or curved inside edges and not too low either so the bread dough doesn’t stick to the plastic film that you will use to cover it, when it rises. As you can see, I haven’t used any baking paper in any of my baking trials and the flatbread just slipped out of its baking dish.

Sixth observation, sprinkling sesame seeds on top is traditional, but feel free to add flax seeds or even a mixture with sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a light sprinkling of flaked salt on top for a heavenly result that will be so good that you won’t be tempted to add anything on top of the bread to make it a tasty and satisfying snack or an accompaniment.

On a more serious (and less culinary) note, as you all know, around the world and in your neighborhood too, it’s been highly recommended to stay at home as much as possible these past few weeks. It’s being called “social distancing”. Maybe if you buy a 5 kg or 10 kg bag of flour, you could just stay home and make your own fresh flatbread every 2 days for the next 3 weeks and keep yourself and your loved ones safe and sound for as long as possible, until everything quiets down ? It’s just an idea, so just think about it.

Stay safe and healthy my friends and stay at home and make some bread … ;)

sesame & beer & olive oil «lagana» greek flatbread


825 grams


*for 1 large rectangular flatbread measuring 36 x 33 cm x 3 cm or 2 medium flatbreads measuring 27 cm x 22 cm x 3 cm high or 4 longer and narrower flatbreads (using loaf pans) measuring 27 cm x 11 cm x 3 cm high each

bread dough :

  • 500 grams (4 cups) all-purpose or hard bread flour (I use 400 grams white bread flour + 100 grams whole-wheat bread flour)
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 195 grams (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) water, warm
  • 195 grams (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) light beer, room temperature
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) dried active yeast
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) sugar
  • 27 grams (2 tbsp) olive oil (or 2 tbsp leftover oil from sesame tahini paste)

extras :

  • 60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil (3 tbsp for brushing the baking dish + 1 tbsp for the surface of the ball of dough)
  • 30 grams (3 tbsp) mixed seeds (golden & brown sesame seeds and flax seeds)
  • 2,5 grams (½ tsp) fine sea salt


  • combine the flours and salt in one large bowl and set aside, combine the beer and oil in one small bowl and set aside and finally combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in another small bowl and stir and let sit for 10 minutes until frothy
  • add the two smaller bowls of liquid to the larger bowl of flour and salt and mix with a wooden spoon until combined and let rest for 10 minutes
  • transfer the dough to a food-processor and pulse for 2 minutes until stretchy and more compact (or use a mixer with a dough hook and mix for 10 minutes or knead by hand for 15 minutes)
  • scrape the dough out of the food-processor with a rubber spatula, separate the dough into 2 equal parts and use some olive oil to oil your hands or a large rubber spatula and form into 2 soft balls
  • add most of the extra olive oil (3 tbsp) to your non-stick or enameled baking dish (or dishes), place the dough inside, flatten out the dough with oiled hands, fold the dough over itself on each side (like an envelope) and then gently flatten out again, cover with plastic film (or a plastic lid) and place in a warm space until doubled in size for approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours
  • *note : I place the covered baking dish with the dough inside a turned off oven with the light on and with a pan of warm water underneath which increases the surrounding temperature to 25°C and speeds things up …
  • use your knuckles or fingers, brushed with olive oil to gently make indents in the dough, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and some flaky salt, cover again and let sit for 30 minutes as the oven preheats
  • *note : poking or indenting the dough will deflate it but it will slightly rise again as you wait for the oven to preheat; if you prefer a fluffier and taller (but still flat) flatbread, you can discard the poking and simply add the olive oil, sesame seeds and salt at the beginning before the dough rises and bake after 2 ½ - 3 hours of rising or after doubling in volume …
  • preheat the oven to 230°C
  • bake the bread for 15-17 minutes on the lower rack until golden, then transfer to the floor of the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes to crisp up the underside, then remove, let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.