Pretzels are best the day made, warm from the oven.
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon table salt
1 heaping tablespoon baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
Stir the sugar and warm water together. Add the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes.
Whisk together the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes to make a smooth and sticky dough.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot (the sun is great) for 45 minutes.
Turn out dough on a clean surface and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll 1 piece into a 24-inch rope, twist into a pretzel shape, and place on a cookie sheet with oiled parchment. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
Let pretzels stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a 6-quart pot of water to a boil. When it starts to boil, add the baking soda. Carefully add 2 pretzels, one at a time, to the pot of water and cook until pretzels are set and puffed, about 3 minutes. Place bake on parchment.
Brush pretzels with the egg and top with pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Source: Joy the Baker