In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook attachment), add the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy (mine didn't look all that foamy but still turned out).
Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and mix using the dough hook until combined well. Cover with a plastic wrap (or a towel) and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk (again, mine didn't look like it rose all that much, but turned out amazingly). Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured clean surface.
Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (4 1/2 - 5 ounces each). To shape the dough "take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand."
Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1" between each roll. I like to stagger mine: 2 rolls side by side, then one down one row but between the two in the top row... Then 2 more side by side, followed by one down a row but between the 2 in the top row... etc (this will fit all 8 on one cookie sheet). Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until they rise & double (mine didn't rise a whole lot).
Preheat oven to 425F and place oven rack in the middle position. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda (I dumped mine in and it boiled up and overflowed all over my stove - lesson learned! hah) place back on heat and lower to a simmer.
Place 2-3 of the rolls at a time into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely & then prinkle each roll with a little pretzel salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash (or 2) -or- an X shape in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot!