The Real Greek - Easter - lent - Clean Monday


Clean Monday – Kathara Deftera in Greek – is just around the corner, arriving this year on Monday 18th March. Celebrate with us in true Greek style or enjoy the day at home and make a traditional Lagana Bread with our recipe below!

What is Clean Monday?

Clean Monday indicates the start of the 40 day Lent, leading up to Easter. In Greece, that period is called ‘Sarakosti’ which actually translates to ’40 days’, and it ends at the beginning of Easter. Clean Monday also signifies the end of the meat-eating celebrations that is the ‘Apokries’ – the Greek Carnival season. It’s a day of spiritual and body cleansing and a public holiday in Greece.

Feasting on Clean Monday

Clean Monday is celebrated with a feast that’s as delicious as it is symbolic. Tables across Greece are laden with an array of fasting foods: olives, dips, lagana bread, seafood, pulses, as well as halva for dessert.

It’s a day where we’ll be spreading tables with taramasalata, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), giant beans in tomato sauce (gigandes), our fried Kalamari, Tonia’s Prawns and Falafel to name a few dishes!

What is Lagana Bread?

A staple of Clean Monday is Lagana bread – an exceptional, un-kneaded bread with a crunchy exterior, generously coated with sesame seeds. Traditionally, it’s enjoyed dipped in taramasalata or alongside other spreads such as melitzanosalata, houmous and Santorini fava. Bring a piece of the celebration into your kitchen with our recipe below.

Lagana bread - clean Monday - the real greek

Lagana Bread Recipe


  • 550g bread flour
  • 400ml sparkling water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 100ml olive oil

To top off:

  • 50ml sparkling water
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • Lots of sesame seeds


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • Oil a medium-sized pan and sprinkle it generously with sesame seeds.
  • Mix the 50ml sparkling water and light brown sugar in a bowl; set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the 400ml sparkling water, sugar, and turmeric. Add about 1/3 of the flour, mixing well.
  • Incorporate the olive oil, baking powder, salt, and yeast, gradually adding the remaining flour until you have a soft dough.
  • Place the dough in the pan, stretching it to fit. Brush with the sugar/water mixture, then gently poke the surface with your fingers.
  • Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Once baked, flip onto a cooling rack. When cool, slice and serve with your favourite spreads.

See our Lagana Bread recipe video on Instagram by clicking here