Traditionally, lagana is made without yeast, a true unleavened bread, like those mentioned in the Old Testament. Lagana is never cut with a knife, but rather broken apart because iron, the stuff of knife-making long ago, was believed to contain the powers of evil.
Few people make the bread at home anymore, relying instead on local bakeries in Athens and throughout Greece. It’s an all-night baking process, one punctuated by glasses of retsina, bowls of pickled vegetables and wedges of tahini halva. These are the Lenten treats bakers sustain themselves on while preparing these oversized, flat loaves.
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