Fill a bowl (use your mixing bowl if you will be using a mixer to knead the dough) full of warm water and add sugar. Sprinkle 1 package of dough over the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It will become foamy.
When yeast is ready add salt to the water and beginning adding flour a cup at a time. If you are using a mixer you will have the mixer running with a dough hook attached. If you are doing it by hand stir mixer with a spatula.
Keep mixing until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If you are doing it by hand pour the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes forming it into a ball. If you are using a mixer it will form a ball on it’s own.
Place dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, tossing it in the bowl a bit to cover it with oil. Place a clean dish towel over the bowl and place it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size. TIP: If your house is not warm enough preheat the oven to 200°F and then turn it off open the door and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then place your bowl in the oven with the door cracked. It is nice and warm and the bread rises perfectly!
Preheat oven to 425°F.
About 10 minutes before the dough is done rising fill a large pot with water. This pot should should be hold 2-3 quarts of water and still be deep enough that water won't splash up or boil over when you add the baking soda.
Turn the heat to high and bring the water almost to a boil.
Add the baking soda slowly and carefully (it will bubble up!).
When the dough has risen turn it out onto a floured surface and cut it into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece out into a rope about 1-inch thick and then use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch pieces.
Take each batch of dough to the water and drop the dough pieces into it leaving them for about 30 seconds before pulling them out and putting them on your baking sheet.
Brush the pretzel dough with an egg wash made from 1 large egg and 1 Tbsp of water mixed together.
Sprinkle them with salt (use a salt with big pieces like kosher or sea salt).
Bake pretzels in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.