What You Need
Bread dough, after it has been mixed together but before it has risen at all
Clean, stable surface
1. Sprinkle a clean, stable surface with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto this surface, scraping the bowl and your fingers clean of sticky strands of dough.
2. Push the dough down and out, stretching it flat in front of you with the heels of your hands. The goal is to lengthen and stretch the gluten strands in the dough.
3. Fold the top half of the dough back towards you, and press down. Then press out again, stretching and lengthening the fibers and gluten strands.
4. Sprinkle the dough with flour to help it decrease in stickiness. Try not to use too much, but also don't be shy about it if the dough is sticking to everything. You can also stop and let the dough rest for about 5 minutes. This gives the flour time to absorb the water, which will make the dough easier to work with.
5. About halfway through the dough will feel much less sticky, and much smoother. Around this point you will probably not need to add any more flour.
6. Continue kneading (total time will be between 10 and 15 minutes) until the dough is smooth, supple, and silky. Near the end, do the windowpane test to see if the dough's gluten has been developed enough.
Everyone has their own style when kneading bread! Do you knead your bread like this? Or do you use another method?