In a small bowl (or 2-cup measure), dissolve 1 TABLESPOON and 1 Teaspoon active dry yeast, and 1 Teaspoon white sugar, in 1.25 cups warm water (110 F/45 C).
Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together 5 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1.5 Teaspoons salt.
Make a well in the center; add 1 TABLESPOON vegetable oil, and the yeast mixture.
The usual place would be a gas oven where just the pilot light is lit. If you have an electric oven, put it on a very low setting. Don't be concerned if it grows more than twice its size -- you'll just have fluffier pretzels.