Mix together a pinch of sugar with the yeast into a bowl of warm water (not hot, but very warm to touch). Let set for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
In a large metal bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar, olive oil, and applesauce. Mix until well combined (this is going into the oven so metal is preferred).
Add in the yeast mixture and one cup of flour to the large bowl. Stir with a spatula until mixed. Once smooth, add add another cup of flour and combine.
Add remaining cup and a half of flour and knead with dough with your hands for about 8-10 minutes. The dough should not be sticky at all. If it is, add a bit more flour until it’s not - I usually end up adding at least 2 Tablespoons.
Turn oven off. Rub 1 tbsp oil over the dough and place it back inside the bowl. Wet a towel with water to make damp. Cover bowl with cloth.
Place in oven and let rise for 60 minutes.
After timer goes off, cut the bread into three, even sized balls. Place inside a greased bread pan (I use olive oil to grease). Place back in oven (still off) for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. When oven has reached temperature, place in and cook for 30 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing.