My mom's bread making bread process is to let the dough rise before kneading. She mixes well, then lets the dough rise, about one hour. After that, she kneaded it briefly. Then immediately formed into roll shapes and placed into the oiled pan. Then she had a shorter rising time, about 30 minutes. Her bread is always wonderful and light. Please explain why you say to knead before rising, and my mom always rises the dough before kneading. Thank you.
It isn't "rising". It's autolysing. What she's doing, knowingly or not, is letting the flour absorb all the added moisture which will let the dough stretch and trap expelled gas from the yeast. If one just starts kneading without autolysing, it's just stickier and messier until this happens sometime during the kneading process.
An hour is the longest I would let that happen and you can probably speed things up by kneading after 30 minutes or so. Check it by grabbing the dough and pulling. If it stretches without breaking, it's ready to go.