In a small bowl, mix yeast and 1 tsp sugar with warm water. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes until mixture becomes foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Add in oil and make a well in the center. Add in yeast mixture and use a mixer to thoroughly mix dough together. Add in an extra 1-2 T water if dough is too dry to work with. Knead for about 5 minutes (7 minutes by hand). Form into a ball and lightly oil ball. Place in large bowl and place a towel over top. Place in a warm area and allow to double in size.
In a medium bowl, mix baking soda and hot water together. Preheat oven to 450F.
Once dough has doubled in size, form into a log shape. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Dip pretzels in the baking soda/water mixture and place on greased baking sheet (6 pretzels per sheet). Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake in oven for 8 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.