Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
Add the flour and butter knead using the dough hook for about 5 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pan.
Divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a long rope rope. Form into pretzels or cut into bite sized pieces for a pretzel bites.
Drop into pretzels into the boiling water, a few at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula or a slotted spoon.
Plan on a baking sheet, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with salt or cinnamon & sugar if desired.