In a large bowl Mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add 11/2 cups warm water and the oil. Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute scraping sides frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 min or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover and rest for 10 minute.
Heat oven to 425°F
In a shallow bowl, mix 1 cup water with the baking soda, to make "pretzel wash". Divide dough into 16 equal parts. Roll each piece into 24 inch long ropes. Form into pretzel shapes or whatever shape you would like. Dip into pretzel wash and place on greased cookie sheet and let rest for 5 minutes, or until fluffy or slightly fluffed (depending on how soft you want the pretzel).
Just before baking, brush with reserved pretzel wash and sprinkle course salt.
Cinnamon-sugar-Brush hot pretzels with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Parmesan-Herb Topping- Mix 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves and 1/4 tsp garlic powder. Brush hot pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with cheese mixture.
One tip I learned, after making this. If you don't want the salt to dissolve during storage of the baked pretzels. Just bake them without the salt, then moisten them slightly and sprinkle with salt when you are ready to eat them. Otherwise, a few days in a zip lock bag will cause the salt to disolve. I learned this after first posting this. Had to come back to edit.