When mixing dough by hand, some of the things which we have found to be beneficial are as follows:
Always suspend compressed yeast in the dough water. If using either ADY or IDY pre-hydrate it in a small portion of the water warmed to between 95 and 100F, then add it to the dough water.
Put all or the greatest portion of the dough water in the mixing bowl first
Add the suspended/hydrated yeast to the water in the mixing bowl
Add salt, and or sugar to the yeast water in the mixing bowl, then give it a quick stir and add the flour.
As you mix the dough during the first couple minutes, add the oil or shortening. If shortening is used (Crisco, margarine, butter, etc.) heat it to just melting temperature before adding it to the dough. This will help to disperse the fat throughout the dough mass.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor