In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow the yeast mixture to sit for 5 minutes until foamy. Add the salt, melted butter, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat the dough in the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment on low speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 3/4 cup more flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes.
If the dough is extremely sticky after 1 minute of mixing, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and continue to beat for another minute.
Knead the dough in the stand mixer on low speed for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
Cover the bowl of dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces then roll each piece of dough into a 20-inch rope on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1.5 inch pieces to make the pretzel bites.
In a large pot, combine the water and baking soda then bring to a boil on the stove over high heat. Place a few pretzel bites into the boiling water and cook for 10-15 seconds (do not boil longer or the pretzel bites will take on a metallic taste).
Using a slotted spoon, remove the pretzel bites from the water and allow the excess water to drain off. Place bites onto prepared baking sheets. Immediately sprinkle each bite with coarse sea salt while they are still wet.
Repeat the boiling process with remaining pretzel bites, working in small batches.
Bake the pretzel bites at 400°F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with dipping sauces of your choice.