Most of the time when making yeast dough it should be slightly sticky, but not heavy. A trick I use is to start out with adding 1/2 to 1 cup less flour than the recipe calls for. Then as the machine does its work, monitor the texture. If the dough is moving around hard and in one big thick lump, it has too much flour.
If this happens, add 1-2 tbsp warm water until it mixes in well and becomes smooth and slightly sticky with a light texture, not hard. If you have the opposite problem – wet and very sticky to the touch and making your fingers messy, add about 1-2 tbsp flour and let mix in. If still too sticky, then add a bit more flour until the dough is just right as mentioned above.
After that, spray the top of the dough in the bread machine and let rise until the machine beeps. If the dough is still a bit sticky, spray vegetable spray on the dough and place on a greased surface. This should make it easier to work with. You can also add flour on the counter to mix it in by hand if it still seems sticky. I prefer not to use extra flour on the counter since it makes a huge mess; plus if you add too much flour, the dough will become heavy.
If you have any questions or you are a newbie to bread making, remember that you can contact me on this site and I will try to get back to you asap. Also, take heart, as bread baking is not easy, nor is it too difficult. It just takes practice.
Darlene – home-baker and homemaker for more than 35 years and still practicing.