Mixing and Kneading Bread Dough by Hand
Add flour to the sponge
Make a sponge and let stand for at least 3 hours or according to your recipe. Add the flour, then the salt to the sponge. If the salt comes in direct contact with the yeast, it can deactivate it.
Stir together the dough
Using a wooden spoon or your hands, stir the dough until it forms a rough mass. Using a plastic pastry scraper, scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Invert the bowl over the dough and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Knead the dough
Uncover the dough and knead it by using the heel of one hand to push the dough away from you and then pull it back with your fingertips. Turn and repeat until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl
Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.