Mix water, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a food processor or a large mixing bowl. Add flour and mix until dough is smooth. Add more flour if sticky. (If possible let the dough sit overnight in a plastic container in the fridge.)
Now divide the dough into 4, 6 or 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, very thin, a little bigger than a pencil. If you're making 4 you can roll it about cigar size and 24 inches long .
Shape into an upside down U shape on your table. Bring the ends together and twist them.
Flatten the ends with your fingers and bring to the top of the pretzel and press in the dough to secure, making it look like a pretzel. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
Now let the pretzels raise for 30 minutes or until about double in size. Brush with the water-soda solution.
For a chewier crust put 2 Tbsp. baking soda mixed with 4 Cups boiling water drop the pretzel in there for about the count of 10 and then lift out with a strainer or pancake turner.
Brush the pretzels with the egg and the water that was whipped up in a small bowl (a cereal bowl is perfect).
This gives the pretzel a nice shiny glaze.
Sprinkle with toppings like coarse salt. Bake in a hot oven (400 to 450 degrees) for 12 to 15 minutes or until well browned.
**To make coarse salt --take rock salt and use a coffee grinder or strainer.