In the bowl of the stand mixer whisk the yeast into warm water with sugar and allow to sit for 1 minute. Add flour, oil and salt and knead with the hook until the dough is smooth and soft but not sticky (alternatively, the dough can be kneaded by hand). Shape into a ball and cover the bowl with a clean dishtowel. Let rest for 1 hour.
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Using a knife or a bench scraper cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces and shape into balls. Roll each piece into a long rope, about 40 cm long. The dough tends to shrink, so it is best to do this in several steps, in order to let the dough relax while working another piece.
Form the dough into a pretzel shape and arrange pretzels on 2 baking trays covered with baking paper. Allow to proof for about 15 minutes, then transfer into the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Bring 2 l of water to a boil in a large pot (make sure there are 3-4 cm from the edge) and add baking soda into boiling water (be careful because the water could come out of the pot).
Carefully drop each pretzel into the water, one at a time, and let boil for 30 seconds on both sides. Use a large flat slotted spatula to carefully remove from the water and place on a clean towel and then on the baking tray.
For best results, if you are going to bake the pretzels in 2 batches, boil the second pan just before baking in a new baking soda bath.
Brush the tops of each pretzel with the cooking water and sprinkle with coarse sea salt (to taste). Bake pretzels for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy pretzels with your favourite mustard!
Pretzels keep well the next day if kept in an airtight container.Alternatively, the remaining pretzels can be frozen.