Fill a medium-size bowl with hot tap water. Let sit for 2 minutes to warm up the bowl, then discard water. Add 3/4 cup hot tap water (around 105-115˚F), sugar and yeast to the bowl. Stir until the yeast is mostly dissolved (it’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy). Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes, until mixture starts to bubble and foam (the bubbling and foaming means the yeast has been activated).
Once the yeast is activated add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir to combine. Add flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir until all flour is incorporated. At first it might seem like too much flour. Just keep stirring and it turns into a shaggy dough.
Sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured surface and knead for about 1 minute, until a nice smooth ball forms. Place the dough ball into the prepared cast iron pan and rub it around the pan to coat the bottom and sides with oil. Then turn the dough over so the oiled side is up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
See Café Tips above for further instructions and detailed tips.