In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook, or in a large mixing bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes. (Make sure yeast starts to bubble; if not, discard and start over.) Stir in olive oil. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to yeast solution 1 cup at a time, mixing each cup just until combined.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 15 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover snugly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down and form into another ball; let rise until it doubles in size again.