Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Be certain to stir often.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Once the dough has risen transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces. Roll the six pieces of dough into 12" to 15" ropes. Cut each rope crosswise into about 12 pieces.
Pour the cooled baking soda solution into a pan large enough to hold the bites. Place the bites into the solution, gently swish them around, and leave them there for a couple of minutes.
Transfer them to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and top with pretzel salt or sea salt. Bake the bites for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, and roll them in the melted butter. For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, toss with cinnamon-sugar once you've rolled the bites in the butter.
Place the bites on a rack. If the bites aren't eaten immediately you should place them in an airtight container. The pretzel bites should be warmed before serving.