Combine the water, yeast, and 1½ cups of the flour in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the oil, salt, and remaining flour. With your hands or a large wooden spoon, work the ingredients together until the dough holds its shape. (You may need a bit less flour, so add the last half gradually.)
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, 5 minutes. If the dough becomes sticky while you are kneading it, sprinkle a bit more flour over it.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled 2-quart bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, 1 hour.
When the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured surface, divide it into two or more parts (see below) and roll them into balls. Cover them with a towel and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The dough is now ready to be shaped, topped, and cooked.