Here's the Smitten Kitchen recipe (with a tweak or two) for soft pretzels in process.
Proof the yeast and make the dough. Make sure your yeast is fresh. Use your mixer's dough hook attachment to mix the dough until it forms a ball.
Rise up! Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel for about an hour, or until the ball doubles in size.
Portion the dough, roll into snakes, and form the pretzels. Your snake should be 12-15" long and about 1/4" thick. Pull the ends of the snake up and cross each other so that your shape looks like 3/4 of a figure eight. Turn the arms together once so that they have one complete twist.
Complete the pretzels and secure the loose ends. Lift the twisted arms from the top and bring them down on the rounded bottom, allowing the loose ends to overlap. Poke the loose ends of the twisted arms in, making dimples, to secure the loose ends.
Reproof and boil. Let the formed pretzels rise a second time under a tea towel. Then boil the reproofed pretzels, a few at a time, in water with salt and baking soda. This step gives the finished pretzels a chewy, bagel-like texture.
Glaze, salt, and bake. The original recipe called for an egg-wash glaze and pretzel salt. I used a butter glaze and sea salt. These have a wonderful texture and flavor. I ate 10 of the dozen I baked. So good!