I have two recipes for bread; one is Julia Child's Sandwich bread and the other is honey wheat bread using the recipe on the back of the King Arthur wheat flour bag (can't find the recipe online for some reason).
I've made both breads twice and I have the same problem: the dough is always too sticky. When mixing the ingredients together, it looks like dough but almost like a batter (if that makes sense). But as soon as I try to knead it, it becomes super sticky, getting stuck on my hands and work surface the more I try to work with it. So I ended up adding A LOT of flour to get it manageable, sometimes almost double what the recipe calls for. And even then, it starts to stick to me so I add more flour. The last time I made the breads, I used a stand mixer and after 4 minutes the dough was becoming more batter-like and drooping from the dough hook, so I ended up kneading it by hand (and adding a lot of flour).
Yes my bread always ends up a crumbled mess when I try to cut it and I know I shouldn't be adding so much flour but I don't understand why my dough is so liquidy that I have to add more flour.
I have done a few different things. Like using less water at the start and sifting the flour before using it, and I even made it at different times of the year (summer vs winter in south-central US), and the dough is always too liquidy.
Someone told me I should wait awhile for the flour to absorb the water before I start kneading it (by hand or in a stand mixer) but I'm worried that would affect the yeast.
I'm also a novice baker (I guess you could call bread making baking?) but I run into wet dough issues all the time, and I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas what I'm doing wrong (aside from adding way too much flour for kneading).
For reference, I always do the scoop and level method and use the same measuring cup for measuring water.
Edit: thank you all for the tips and suggestions! I've never used an actual cookbook or used any books for cooking, just online and occasionally videos. So I will definitely look into getting a book for properly making bread especially.