Combine ingredients: Whisk together warm water, brown sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle dry active yeast over the top and let it sit 5 minutes. Add melted butter, flour, attach a dough hook to the mixer and mix on low until combined.
Knead dough: Once ingredients are combined, increase speed to medium and knead dough for 5 minutes or until dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl (if necessary add up to 1/4 cup more flour).
Let dough rise: Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen cloth, and let dough rise for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Punch the dough down and transfer it to a floured surface. Preheat oven to 425° F while you shape and boil the pretzels.
Shape pretzels: Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20 to 22-inch rope and turn the rope into a U shape. Cross the ends of the rope over each other once, then twist over each other again, and pull the ends to the bottom of the U (see photos or video for visual). Tip: Wet the ends with water so they stick to the dough. Place pretzels on a baking sheet with silpat mat (Silpat is highly recommended! If you don't have one, grease parchment paper with nonstick spray).
Boil pretzels: Bring water and baking to a boil in a large pot. Place pretzels (2 at a time) in the baking soda bath and boil for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to baking sheet and immediately add coarse salt.
Bake pretzels: Bake pretzels at 425° F for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Let pretzels cool for 5 minutes on the pan before serving warm.
Storing pretzels: Soft pretzels are best when eaten the day they are made, however they made be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.Freezing pretzels: Pretzels freeze well they day they are baked to keep their flavor. Wrap pretzels in aluminum foil and place in an airtight container. Freeze for 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator then reheat in the oven or toaster oven at 350 F for 5 minutes.Recommended tools: