Proof the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer by adding the yeast, 1 1/2 cups water and sugar together. Cover with a towel and let it stand for 5-10 minutes until bubbles form.
Add 3 TBSP of oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. Using the dough hook, add in the flour a cup at a time on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 4 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl and pour remaining 1 TBSP oil into the same bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl. Turn to coat with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large pot bring the 8 cups of water to a boil.
Spray a standard baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, use a knife or pizza cutter and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
Roll out dough into a long “snake”. About 20″ long.
Bring the ends up together, making a raindrop shape, and pinch ends together.
Twist the pinched ends together two times.
Fold down the twisted ends into the middle of the ‘raindrop’ shape.
Pull down the center bottom of the dough.
Pinch together the center bottom dough and tweak the top to make a heart shape.
Once you're done shaping the pretzels and your water has come to a boil, stir in baking soda to the water.
When you place the pretzels into the boiling water, dip the bottom end in first and gently lay the rest into the hot water.
Boil two at a time for 55 seconds then remove to the baking sheet.
Once all boiled, beat together egg and 1 TBSP water and brush over the tops.
Generously sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.
Bake for 16-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Serve warm.