In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine 1 cup warm water, yeast and 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, whisk to dissolve and allow to rest 10 minutes.
Fit mixer with whisk attachment and mix in remaining granulated sugar (1 Tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp), brown sugar, vegetable oil and salt.
With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in bread flour and mix until well blended.
Switch attachment to the hook attachment and slowly add in all-purpose flour. Knead mixture on low speed until smooth an elastic, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup flour as needed (you want a soft dough and it may seem slightly sticky).
Transfer to a lightly buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down and divide into 6 equal portions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dust tops of dough lightly with flour and cover the ones you aren't currently rolling loosely with plastic wrap.
Roll each portion into a rope about 24 to 28-inches long, cut into bite size pieces.
Pour hot water and baking soda into a mixing bowl and whisk to dissolve. Using a slotted spoon, dip several pieces of dough into the water mixture, then lift and allow excess water to drip off, then transfer to a Silpat lined baking sheet. Rewarm water as needed.
Bake in preheated oven 8 - 11 minutes until tops are nicely golden brown. Remove from oven and using a slotted spoon, dip into melted butter, toss to evenly coat then lift and shake off excess. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest 2 minutes.