you poor thing, my first thought was maybe I wrote the wrong recipe down. I can't find my original book and was doing that from memory. Could be my fault. Blame me, I haven't slept through the night in four years.
Yes, American measuring
knead wherever is easiest for you, bowl or table with plenty of extra flour for your surface
Overall you can feel free to add more or less flour as you see fit, sometimes I have to use as much as 8 cups of flour a batch and the next time only six. I don't know why. Something in the stars on that day maybe. Here is how I do it.
I mix half the flour in the liquid and make a glorpy messy stew of it, then a cup at a time add the rest until it is too hard to stir and knead more in with hands in the bowl until it will hold its own, so to speak. If your fingers are still sticking, add more flour. The dough will really firm up enough to pour out and knead but you will have to keep putting flour on the surface for awhile. You will know it is time to stop kneading when the dough springs back when you poke it with a finger....then you know the gluten has really formed it's "nets" to trap the air when it the yeast starts to work and the your dough will have a nice rise.
A well kneaded dough has a soft and springy texture, almost shiny with bits of the wheat germ practically floating on the top surface. It takes me about 20 minutes to get there.
I hope this helps. Sorry for the poor directions before- ask more questions if you need to. The lucky thing is that children will usually any kind of bread if there is enough butter on it (read: buttered rocks).