Heat your water to 110º-115ºF. Combine the water with the sugar and melted butter and set aside
Place your flour and yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Mix for 5 seconds to distribute the yeast.
Pour in your hot water mixture while mixing on low, just until everything is moistened.
Sprinkle in your salt.
Increase the speed to medium-high (speed 4 on a kitchenaid, speed 2 on the bosch) and mix for 6 minutes. If your dough is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water until the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. If it's too wet, sprinkle in a little flour.
Poke the dough, does it bounce back? The dough is ready to proof. You can also do the window test (see blog post). If the dough isn't ready, mix for another two minutes.
Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough proof for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. (proof 90 minutes if you're using active dry yeast).
Divide your dough into 12 equal sized pieces (or use a scale to make 4 oz pieces).
Begin rolling your dough out into a long skinny snake. When it becomes too stretchy, move to the next piece of dough and let the previous piece rest. Continue in this way until all 12 pieces are 22" long.
Shape your snake into a big "U". Twist the ends together twice then fold down onto the bottom of the "U". Glue the ends in place with a dab of water.
Set aside to rest for 10 minutes (for instant yeast, 20 minutes for active dry yeast)
Bring 8 cups of water to a simmer with 1/4 cup of baking soda
Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper. Sprinkle a good amount of corn flour (semolina) on top. This prevents the soft pretzels from sticking.
Preheat your oven to 425ºF
Place your soft pretzel into the boiling water and cook for 20 seconds (10 seconds. per side) then drain with a slotted spoon before placing onto the parchment paper.
Sprinkle some of your chunky salt on top of the pretzels and bake
Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown