In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and packet of yeast.
Mix in 1-1/2 cups of flower, the 2 tblsp margarine, 1/2 tsp salt and tblsp sugar. Beat the entire mixture for 3 minutes to mix well.
Slowly mix in the remaining 1-1/4 cups of flour, and knead dough until all of the flour is mixed in and dough loses its stickiness.
Set aside in bowl, and let it rise until dough reaches approximately double its original size.
Divide dough into twelve approximately equal pieces. Using your palms, roll each piece into 18″ lengths about pencil thickness. Loop and twist the lengths into pretzel shapes and place on a greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again until they approximately double in girth.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and ready a boiling solution of 4 cups of water, and the 5 tsp of baking soda in a shallow non-aluminum (note – aluminum may react with baking soda).
With a plastic spatula, carefully lift each pretzel from the sheet and lower it into the boiling baking soda solution for 15-20 seconds. This will glaze the pretzels once you bake them.
Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt (if desired, they’re great without salt as well), and bake approximately 7-10 minutes until browned. Serve warm, topped with mustard or cheese, and a pint of your favorite beer.