In a glass measuring cup, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Stir in the sugar; let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour with the salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and stir until a stiff dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large bowl lightly brushed with olive oil.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and knead it 3 times. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll into balls. Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2, covered with plastic and refrigerated overnight. The dough balls can be frozen for up to 1 month.