Add the warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar into the bowl and combine until the yeast is foamy while doing this sprinkle in yeast.
Mix in 1 cup flour until combined. Mix in the salt and four more cups of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead in another ½ cup of flour until combined, then transfer to a floured board and knead for 5 min.
Coat the sides and bottom of a large bowl with oil. Transfer the pretzel dough to the bowl, turning it so that all sides of dough are coated with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 40 min
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
Knead the dough again on a lightly floured surface, then divide into sixteen 2 ½ ounce pieces.
Roll each piece of dough into an 18 inch long strip and twist into a pretzel. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel.
Fill a large, shallow pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil. Add the baking soda and the last 2 tablespoons of sugar. Reduce to a simmer and poach the pretzels – cook 3 to 4 at a time, a minute on each side. Transfer to the baking sheet with a slotted spoon.
Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush over the poached pretzels.
For the topping sprinkle the sea salt over the top