Rye dough can be discouraging — it’s sticky, it’s heavy, it’s hard to deal with. And while it doesn’t require kneading for gluten development, proper mixing is very important. If the dough is not mixed properly there might be dry spots inside and uneven distribution of sourdough and flavouring agents like salt and seeds will result in poor bread quality and taste. The importance of mixing quality grows with the ratio of rye flour and its wholeness: dark rye is harder to mix than light rye and 100% rye is harder to mix than 50/50 rye/wheat combination.
I’ve tried multiple different mixing techniques and I’d like to share the one which made my life a lot easier. This technique is based on a method provided in an old Soviet book called 350 Varieties Of Bakery Products by Plotnikov and Kolesnikov. In its basic form it doesn’t require any tools except for baker’s hands, but I’d also like to note a few tools which make my mixing a lot easier.