If you don't have a bread machine, combine 1/2 cup lukewarm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir in yeast, and set aside until yeast is creamy and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add remaining water, oil, salt, and flour. Mix on low speed using the dough hook until the gluten is fully developed, about 10 minutes. (You can also knead by hand on a floured surface until dough is springy and feels silky to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.) Transfer dough to an oiled boil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Proceed with the recipe as directed in Step 3.