Farina bona bread with a Middle Eastern touch

As a new member of Slow Food, I had to experiment my first concious official Slow Food receipe – although I am quite sure that this is not really my first Slow Food receipe.

Farina bona is a very traditional flour from the Onsernone valley in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. The flour is made out of roasted corn and therefore has a very distinct smell and taste. I decided to give the bread a little Middle Eastern touch by adding some mehleb, which is an aromatic spice made out of seeds of the St Lucie cherry (basically ground cherry seeds). An explosion of flavours, which has come to stay in my home…


Farina bona bread

A rustic bread with a slight Middle Eastern touch
Keyword bread, Farina bona, heritage food, Mahleb, slow food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting time 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings 1 500g loaf


  • 335 g wheat flour try to find wheat flour with a rather high % of gluten for a better rise of your dough
  • 95 g fine semolina this really needs to be very fine, alternatively durum wheat flour will also work
  • 75 g farina bona
  • 3 g dried yeast
  • 12 g fine salt
  • 1 tea spoon mahleb
  • 405 g luke warm water


  • Mix all three flours thoroughly with the dried yeast. Add the salt and then, carefully add the water while you are already mixing your dough together. Make sure you mix very thoroughly - approx. for 10 minutes. By this time, your dough should hold together, but it will be very soft and a bit sticky.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 1h. Then, with a bit of oil (olive oil or sunflower oil) on your fingers, do a couple of stretch and folds before laying the dough gently and nice and tight back into the bowl. Again, cover it and let it rest for another hour.
  • Next put some durum or fine semolina flour onto your work surface and gently form your dough into the shape you want to bake the bread in. Be careful not to "hurt" your dough and destroy any bubbles, which will have been built previously.
  • Add some rice flour into your basket (or a bowl) and let the dough rest with a covered and moist towl until it has doubled in size. At the same time, heat your oven with the cooking device (for me it was a Dutch Oven with a lid) to 230°.
  • Once your dough has risen and your oven is hot, gently place your dough onto a parchment paper and into the Dutch Oven. Bake for 30 mins with the lid on. Then reduce the heat to 210° and remove the lid for the final 10-15 mins of baking. The timing really depends on how brown you like your bread to be.
  • Ensure to let the bread cool down for minimum 2h before slicing it. The bread will keep well for 3-4 days closed in a linen towl/bag and stowed away from too much light.

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