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When the dough tears, it can be many things. What you're looking for is a good "baker's window". While you're kneading the dough, stop, then take a small piece of dough and flatten it into a disc. Then, pinch it between your thumb and forefinger on each hand and stretch it so that the dough is very thin and translucent (hence "window"). If you can get a good window without any tearing, then you've properly kneaded the dough and it can rise. If it tears, try kneading a little longer to develop the gluten.