I use my Kitchenaid mixer along with my dough hook for the mixing of my dough. This can be done by hand too.
To the bowl, add in warm water, yeast and sugar and mix with your hands or a spoon. Allow for this to sit until the it becomes frothy. When frothy, add in salt.
Add in half of the flour and mix with dough hook until it becomes creamy (start with 1 1/2 cups).
Add in additional flour little by little until it comes a soft dough. It will be sticky but will have left the sides of the bowl when combined. (again...You'll start with 1 1/2 cups and keep adding more in 1/2 cup increments until you reach your desired consistency.)
Beat on high for 3-5 minutes.
Set the dough aside in a warm area covered by a kitchen towel to allow to rise for about 30 min to 1 hr.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down in the middle. At this point, I am ready to roll out the dough.